Miyamoto Considers Pikmin Nintendo’s “Most Global Characters”

Pikmin 4
Image: Nintendo

Nintendo today released the final part of its Ask the developer series of interviews focused on Pikmin 4and this one saw the development team open up about their personal thoughts on the franchise as a whole.

It’s no surprise that Shigeru Miyamoto had some thoughts to share about his relationship with the Pikmin series – the games have long been considered a “favorite child” for the legendary designer, after all – and his responses didn’t disappoint. Talking about what Pikmin means to him, Miyamoto confessed that he considers the adorable plant species “Nintendo’s most global characters” and he wants players to have a real sense that the creatures could exist in the everyday world:

I have been saying for a long time that pikmine games tend to stand out for their setting and characters, but I think they’re also interesting as a game genre. Also, I want people to really feel like Pikmin are all around us, that they’re not just fantastical creatures. The Pikmin have no age or nationality. They have a unique presence as creatures that exist somewhere on Earth. This is not the case with Mario. We know that he is of Italian descent in The movie Super Mario Bros., but it’s not like you can bump into him walking down the street, because he lives in Mario’s world. (Laughs) In fact, I consider the Pikmin to be Nintendo’s most global characters. Ever since the promotional campaign we launched over ten years ago, we’ve been saying, “The Pikmin are all around us. I think we’ve finally reached a point where people can find Pikmin in a variety of places, not just in their imaginations. I hope that more and more people will become aware of pikmine and play pikmine Games.

Now, we’re firmly in the pro-Pikmin camp here at Nintendo Life, but to suggest that the characters are the “most global” of all of Nintendo’s exports seems a bit of a stretch. Sure, there are fans all over the world, but foraged plants are hardly as recognizable as Mario, are they?

The creator later confessed that he considers “video games to be one of the worlds the Pikmin live in”, noting their appearances at Super Nintendo World and alluding to an appearance in the Mario Movie (which he declined to elaborate on) — it’s hard to disagree with this one, it sure seems like Pikmin are sprouting all over the place.

Let’s put on our tinfoil hats for a second and we might even be tempted to read that last comment as a sign that the Pikmin might one day get their own movie – what are these “other worlds” you have planned, Miyamoto, tell us! – but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was nothing more than another shameless take for Pikmin Flower

The final part of the Pikmin 4 interview series also features commentary on the game’s relationship to nostalgia, how the team hopes it will spark family conversation, and sound director Mitsuhiro Kida’s ideas for bringing Pikmin to life. Be sure to check out the full interview here.

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