In a recent interview conducted by Japanese games magazine Famitsu, Shigeru Miyamoto (Creator of household names like Super Mario, Zelda, and Peppy O’Hare) provided unprecedented insight into not only his personal philosophy for making video games, but furthermore a larger view of Nintendo’s practices as a company. One question in particular, though, raised several eyebrows – “What prompted the development of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games?”
In response to this question, Miyamoto admitted that his original pitch of the game, where a wide cast from the Mushroom Kingdom face off against Sega icons in a variety of sporting events, was originally intended as a joke.
“I believe the game’s core concept came from one of our junior developers.” Miyamoto remarked. “He joked that since Mario is a world class sportsman in his world – already having a successful career in Tennis, Golf and Karting – he could absolutely kick Andy Murray’s ass. Now that’s fucking funny.”
Miyamoto continued. “So we started working on this joke pitch on our nights off, at the bar, and someone brought up that Sega had been working on a variety of sports games featuring Sonic the Hedgehog – a disgusting creature who I’ve personally always hated. Now, obviously, Mario could ruin Sonic at any sport, and I said as much to the team – they clearly found this quite funny, and made sure to note it down.”
“The next week, I decided to take a break from work to spend time with my family – it turns out that in that time, not only had the juniors pitched it to Satoru Iwata (Former Nintendo boss), but Iwata had loved it and commissioned Sega themselves to create the game with supervision from Nintendo. By the time I had came back to work, the week later, the game was already completed – there was nothing to be done.”