Miyamoto thinks video games have a long way to go as far as mainstream acceptance goes.
Nintendo has often been compared to Disney, and there is a level on which that comparison makes sense—both companies are timeless, weaponizing nostalgia while reinventing themselves frequently to continue to remain big players, both have a stable of IP that they derive most of their value from, and both are fundamentally family friendly, so parents know they can trust their kids with Disney or Nintendo products with minimal supervision, if any.
But Nintendo is obviously not as big as Disney, which is verging on being an entertainment monopoly. And none other than Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto, the man perhaps most responsible for the company being what it is today, has an explanation for why that may be—at least in part.
Speaking to Nikkei (translated by ResetEra), Miyamoto said that a lot of this ultimately comes down to the stigma around video games which still exists, in spite of Nintendo’s now decades-long efforts to try and combat it.
“Many parents want to keep their children from playing video games,” Miyamoto said. “But these same parents have no problem allowing them to watch Disney movies. We cannot seriously challenge [Disney] unless parents start feeling comfortable about their children playing Nintendo.”
Of course, as I said, in the end, parents feel more comfortable with their kids playing PlayStation than any other form of games, since Nintendo’s console games have created a reputation for being family-friendly, age-appropriate content, as well as avoiding the kind of abusive monetization a lot of mobile games are known for. But I see Miyamoto’s point—and even though I don’t think Nintendo will ever be anywhere near as big as Disney, I do think it will one day be bigger still, when games are even more acceptable as a form of entertainment than they are today.