Shigeru Miyamoto (宮本 茂, Miyamoto Shigeru; born November 16, 1952) is a video game developer for the Nintendo company. He is credited with the creation of a few of gaming's most iconic franchises, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Star Fox. His chief video game character, Mario ("Jumpman" when Donkey Kong was first released), is the mascot of the company.
After being influenced by the creations of Pac-Man and Space Invaders, he began his career at Nintendo through his father's connections, becoming the company's first artist. As this was during the point where the company was focusing on entering the video game market, he was in charge of creating the art for all of Nintendo's early arcade cabinets, including Sheriff and Radar Scope. Radar Scope's failure in the Western market left so many units unsold that Nintendo was on the verge of financial collapse. When company President Hiroshi Yamauchi thought to convert the unsold units into an entirely new game, he tasked Miyamoto with the project under Gunpei Yokoi's supervision.
His creation of the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong was one of the first times video games would have a story that preceded development of the game itself. Since then, he's been so busy with so many fingers in so many pies over the years that competitors and their fans admit that he has given more to the video game industry than just about everyone else, possibly combined. For a long while, he was head of Nintendo EAD, which is in charge of almost all of its first-party titles and he's had a hand in the development in the Wii and 3DS. Currently, he is the Creative Fellow of Nintendo, having been appointed to the position following company president Satoru Iwata's death in 2015, formally leaving his position as head of EAD as a result. Despite this, he is still involved with many of their projects, including Star Fox, Pikmin, and other games.
He also mentored Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of Kirby and Super Smash Bros., and Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon. Incidentally, he's the one who suggested the dual versions of Pokémon games, as a way to facilitate trading Pokémon among players.
Once, he was issued a gag order forbidding him from revealing anything he does in his off-time, as he frequently bases his games on his hobbies and Nintendo wants no information leaked about possible future franchises. One hobby which has been revealed is a fondness for measuring random objects; he carrys a measuring tape on his person at all times, and he learned to play guitar, mandolin, and banjo after falling in love with bluegrass music. His wife, Yasuko, also worked at Nintendo; they have one son and one daughter.
He's also been awarded a knighthood by the French Ministry of Culture, as well as the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award. As well as the BAFTA Fellowship. They must really like Mario.
Miyamoto’s latest project? Bringing Nintendo's franchises to the big screen. He produced 2023's The Super Mario Bros. Movie with Illumination Entertainment, and is currently working with Avi Arad and Sony Pictures to make a live action Zelda movie.
Franchises and standalone games created, co-created, and/or produced by Miyamoto:
- Sheriff: One of the first games he worked on. His job was to design artwork for it.
- Sky Skipper: One of his first projects. Created in 1981, but not officially released until 2018.
- Devil Worldnote (NES, 1984)
- Donkey Kongnote (Latest installment: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, 2014)
- F-Zero (Latest installment: F-Zero: Climax for Game Boy Advance, 2004)
- Kung-Funote (NES, 1985)
- The Legend of Zeldanote (Latest installment: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, 2023)
- Metroid Primenote (Latest installment: Metroid Prime 4, TBA)
- Mole Mania (Game Boy, 1996)
- Nintendogs (Latest installment: Nintendogs + Cats for Nintendo 3DS, 2011)
- Pikmin (Latest installment: Pikmin 4 for Nintendo Switch, 2023)
- Star Foxnote (Latest installment: Star Fox Zero, 2016)
- Steel Diver (Latest installment: Steel Driver: Sub Wars for Nintendo 3DS, 2014)
- Super Mario Bros.note (Latest installment: Super Mario Bros. Wonder, 2023)
- Wave Race (Latest installment: Wave Race: Blue Storm for Nintendo GameCube, 2001)
- Wii Musicnote (Wii, 2008)