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Nintendo is trying to make what people want, not art - Iwata

Wii U maker's president says creators need to change their ideas if they aren't resonating with the audience

Nintendo may have a reputation for marching to the beat of its own drum, but company president Satoru Iwata said the company's creative mindset depends on being completely adaptable to what works for the audience. In an interview with Toyo Keizai Online translated by Kotaku, Iwata said whatever clicks with the audience trumps the developer's original plans.

"Nintendo developers are extremely insatiable when it comes to whether what they make resonates with customers or not." Iwata said. "They'll do anything to achieve it. Both (Shigeru) Miyamoto and I repeatedly say, 'It's not like we are making pieces of art, the point is to make a product that resonates with and is accepted by customers.'"

He added, "Creating is like an expression of egoism. People with a strong energy to create something have a 'this is the strength I believe is right' sort of confidence to start from. Their standpoint is that this is the right thing to do, so this must be what's good for the customer as well. But the final goal of a product is to resonate with and be accepted by people. You can't just force your way through. By saying, 'The point is to be accepted,' I mean, if you go to a customer with your idea and you realize they don't understand it, it's more important that they do and you should shift your idea."

Iwata acknowledged that the Wii U has struggled of late and customers haven't quite understood it, but the company isn't about to shift that particular idea just yet.

"It's difficult to say, 'The Wii U is a system that does such-and-such,' in a simple manner, and understanding it takes time." Iwata said. "While we unfortunately had a period in the first half of 2013 where releases were sparse and hardware sales have lulled, I don't think that the concept and potential of the Wii U have been rejected."

Analysts would seem to agree with Iwata. Colin Sebastian and Doug Creutz have both told investors recently that while Wii U sales have been sluggish, the true test for the system will be its performance this holiday season, when it is expected to have a much stronger lineup of available software.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.