Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Sony Corporation (ADR) (SNE): Should the Gaming Industry Heed Shigeru Miyamoto’s Advice?

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A rushed game is forever bad

Miyamoto once stated, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” That’s some sage advice that Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and, the two largest American game publishers, should heed more often.

Over the past few years, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and Activision have been obsessed with milking popular franchises, such as Mass Effect, The Sims, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft down to the last drop through rushed sequels, expansion packs and DLC (downloadable content). Some gamers consider this change of pace in the industry, with the development cycle of games being shortened from years to months, to have reduced the quality of some major titles.

The result is a more predictable revenue stream for EA or Activision investors generated by the sales of mediocre titles. EA’s Mass Effect 3, for example, was rushed to the point that it was released with an incomplete ending which had to be rectified via a DLC. SimCity, the company’s long-awaited update of Maxis’ 24-year old franchise, was released with a required online social component that overloaded the company’s own servers and made the game unplayable offline.

These major mistakes, among many others, have caused many gamers to lose faith in the industry. Being an avid gamer myself, I usually only play modern games once or twice through, yet I must have completed Miyamoto’s magnum opus, Super Mario Bros. 3, hundreds of times. It’s that lack of polish in many modern titles that have caused newer games to appear superficially beautiful due to next-generation graphics, while lacking the heart and soul of Miyamoto’s greatest creations.

The Foolish bottom line

Granted, we can’t expect all video game developers to be like Shigeru Miyamoto. However, we can still use his philosophies to reflect on game console and software design to better understand what lies in store for the eighth generation of console gaming.

I believe that if the industry focuses on recapturing some of that magic that gamers once felt when they played as Mario the first time as a kid, instead of being dead set on transforming living rooms into social cloud-based supercomputers, then we might generate some more growth from the untapped markets that Miyamoto was focused on.

The article Should the Gaming Industry Heed Shigeru Miyamoto’s Advice? originally appeared on and is written by Leo Sun.

Leo Sun has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Nintendo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Leo is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

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