'I don't think of myself as a game designer', says Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigeru Miyamoto at a 2023 Nintendo Direct
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of Mario and Zelda, opened up about his history with video games and his current role in the industry in a new interview. 

Speaking with The Guardian, Miyamoto said: "I don't think of myself as a game designer [these days]." In the 2020s, the industry legend is more concerned with "finding unique opportunities for Nintendo."

"We try to find our own new path. The movies, the amusement parks, I'm excited to see what kind of organic things result from those [...] I'm still very new to [the movie] industry and I'm still learning, but I'm trying to read a lot of scripts these days and learn how they are developed, to see how we can create uniquely Nintendo films." 

With The Super Mario Bros. Movie breaking box office records, it's no surprise that Miyamoto is keen to help Nintendo explore this new frontier of creativity. With the seasoned designer at the helm of the upcoming live-action Legend of Zelda movie alongside Morbius producer Avi Arad, it looks as though there will be plenty more chances for Miyamoto to flex his filmographic muscles.   

However, this is not to say that the industry veteran has stepped back from game design wholesale. While he is "not involved in the minute details of development," Miyamoto "does oversee entire projects" in a more big-picture way.

Taking about his approach, Miyamoto said of himself: "If he says something's good, it's rare. He's actually a shy person; even when he thinks something is well done, he would often not say that to someone directly." 

Reflecting on his roots, he added: "A lot of my classmates were going off to car manufacturers or electronics manufacturers, but I wanted to make something weird, something interesting, that's how I came upon Nintendo."

Though the likes of Mario and Link have left an indelible mark on the gaming landscape, Miyamoto has no intention of stopping. "More so than retiring, I'm thinking about the day I fall over [...] I do think about who I can pass things on to, in case something does happen. I'm really thankful that there is so much energy around things that I have worked on."

Want more Nintendo goodness? Check our lists of the best Nintendo Switch games and the best Super Mario games.

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent. 

Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure. 

Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.