This week, Nintendo of Canada invited us to come play some of the titles shown at E3 this year. We took a few moments to talk with Matt Ryan of Nintendo of Canada about these games and other announcements that were made at E3. Here’s what he had to say to us:
3GEM: First off, peripherals for Smash Bros. On Wii U, will the pro controller be usable?
Matt Ryan: Yes.
3GEM: And will you guys be releasing any sort of GameCube controllers, because not everybody still has theirs?
Matt Ryan: There will be new controllers launched. There’s an adapter for your GameCube controllers if you still have them and haven’t worn down the buttons playing Smash Bros. or anything else. As long as they still work you can play them with Smash. You can use the Gamepad. Actually, I’ve never seen a game that has this many controller options. We are not done with our announcements yet.
3GEM: Can you tell us anything about Splatoon?
Matt Ryan: I can tell you lots about it — I can’t tell you anything new, but I can talk about it. Splatoon was at E3. It was a great surprise for a lot of people and helped us have a really strong show because a lot of fans are like, “Come out with new stuff, we want to play more Mario and Donkey Kong and Zelda but we need more, something new!” That’s the something new. It’s a shooter done in a very Nintendo way, with shooting ink, but we put it back in the vault. So we kind of do this. Last year we showed Smash Bros. for Wii U at E3, but not in any of our events afterwards, so it went back into the vaults. This year Splatoon has gone back into the vault, so no new announcement to make about it, it’s a 2015 title. I’m sure we have a lot more to say about it but we’ve locked it up for now.
3GEM: Gotta be honest, that was the one thing, I was like “OMG I get to play Splatoon-awwwww.”
Matt Ryan: (Laughs) I’m so sorry about that. Just to let you know the tour that the US is doing, like these types of events, also are not showing it so we’re not at a disadvantage here, it’s just it’s going back in the vault for North America. I don’t know if Europe is showing it or Japan is showing it more but I think it’s probably worldwide, gone back into the vault.
3GEM: Awesome, Project Giant Robot and Project Guard — are they going to be either downloadable games or disc as well?
Matt Ryan: I don’t have the answer to this question, all I can say about those is those are special projects that Mr Miyamoto is working on, of course with other developers. Whether or not they are going to be full games, stand alone games or how they will be launched like digitally or at retail, we just don’t know. The purpose of showing them was because Mr Miyamoto wanted to show them and what Mr Miyamoto wants, Nintendo does. He’s very proud of those and they offer a very unique offerings. I don’t know if you got a chance to play both — watching it as a spectator is awesome, playing is also awesome, and it’s different things and actually the player needs spectators because they need you to cheer them on when they are in that crazy robot tipping over and they need your help. And in Project Guard they need your help because it’s really hard to watch 12 cameras at once. It is super helpful to have a spotter there or multiple spotters except if your multiple spotters are telling you to look at different cameras it’s not gonna help you (laughter). But you will have notice that they’re spectator games. Kind of like Smash Bros., right, which is an e-Sport and is just as fun to watch as it is to play. So those are special projects and we just don’t have more information to share about them. I think Mr Miyamoto probably want to get them out there, see what the reaction was, it’s pretty good so far. His other project is Mario Maker, I got to sit in a really cool meeting with him doing an interview with one of our journalists. It was really neat because when Mr Miyamoto was younger and making Mario Bros., all the side scroller games were actually written out on scrolls that were long across the room, and they would plan out an entire level and I didn’t really get this detail until I heard this this year from him. The entire level would be on a scroll, side scroller, and then they would take it give it to the developer, the designer, and say “go make this happen”. Well now, with Mario Maker, he’s giving you those tools, we’re giving you those tools to go do that yourself which is a really neat concept. It’s been so many years since the writing up on scrolls actually happened and now you can create it on your own. I just thought it was a really neat insight into our history.
3GEM: It is, actually. I’m more interested in that then the rest of my questions. (laughter)
Matt Ryan: I know, I’m sorry. I like to share that story because when he said that I actually thanked him afterward, I said “You know what, thank you. That really made my day”.
3GEM: Hyrule Warriors: the demo was awesome. Is that demo going to be available to the public at all, or is it just anybody who’s lucky enough to come to these events?
Matt Ryan: We haven’t announced a demo, so, you know, we’ll have to see. Our choices on whether or not a demo version is available are based on many different things, so we haven’t announced it yet. It is definitely a perk up about playing it here. It is the same version we showed at E3. We’ll have to see what happen around launch for that, I just don’t have anything to announce about that. It is a pretty fun demo.
3GEM: It is, it’s quite interesting to see the smash up between Dynasty Warrior and Zelda in there.
Matt Ryan: Yeah, because Dynasty has this huge following already and there are fans who are going to love it just because of that. And there’s whole other huge sect of Legend of Zelda fans and now we’re going to bring them together and the game plays remarkably well, the physics of it are cool, the action is awesome, the characters you get to be, you’ll notice we haven’t announced all of them yet. There are some mystery characters. Really really cool, different way to play. Zelda, you usually don’t see Zelda as the playable character kickin’ ass. In Smash Bros. you can do that, in Hyrule Warriors you can do it. It’s a really cool game. I’m super pumped for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but Hyrule Warriors is a very close second. I love the Zelda Franchise and now it’s just another way to play that realm which is really cool.
3GEM: Going back to Smash Bros. for a second, I know you can’t give us any new characters, however are there more coming?
Matt Ryan: (Laughter) I’m going to say most likely there are more coming, I will also say we are not finished with our Smash Bros. announcements in general and I’ll leave it at that.
The reality is, you can create a Mii (just putting this out there), you can always bring a character in to Smash Bros. if you can create their Mii or get a hold of their Mii. We all know there are ways to get various Miis. Predator is one of my favorite Miis that I have ever been able to get. I’ve kept it since the years of Wii. I didn’t create it on my own, some genius somewhere else on the planet did. You can bring your Miis in. I know that doesn’t really answer your question, but if you really want Darth Vader in there then create the Mii, get the Mii then bring him into the game. I’m not announcing Darth Vader for Super Smash Bros. just to be clear (laughter).
3GEM: Believed by many including people here today, Nintendo is going to have the best first party launches this fall. Your thoughts?
Matt Ryan: I think that’s a big statement, I think Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS will be huge. We have this great flow of games that are coming out since E3 through the holiday time frame. Something that’s not here is Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. The Pokemon franchise core fans are getting what they always want, which is a new Pokemon game where they can catch ‘em all again. Going back to the Ruby/Sapphire days, you get to explore the Hoenn region and it’s on the Nintendo 3DS. The coupling of Amiibo with the launch of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is going to put us in a good position to make a lot of fans happy. We’ll never come out and say, you know, we’re gonna dominate this holiday, we’re not like that. It’s not up to us, it’s up to the fans to buy our games — if they think they’re good, tell their friends, their friends buy our games, that’s great. Buy our games for people and for gifts for the holidays, but we’ll never make a call saying that it’s gonna be a huge holiday season. We will say that Smash Bros. will be our biggest launch, there’s no doubt about it, especially with Amiibo coming which is a whole new playing field for us.
3GEM: Speaking of Amiibos…
Matt Ryan: Amiibo. No “s”.
3GEM: Oh, sorry. Amiibo!
Matt Ryan: It’s okay, you’re not the first to do it, it’s just our thing. You remember when we launch the Wii and we announced that name and people were like “What is that, it’s weird”, and there’s all these jokes that went away after about two weeks. Amiibo, I love the sound of it, and we as a company love the sound of it but there’s no plural, the plural is itself. Which is really neat, we’ve created something else new (laughter). I mean Ami, you can break it down. What Amiibo means, there’s a little French in there, there’s a little Mii action in there.
3GEM: In terms of characters, we’ve seen a few at E3. Is there going to be a list at all, or are there any characters that you’re excited about that we can hear about now?
Matt Ryan: I can’t announce any new ones. Frankly, I don’t even know any beyond what we saw at E3. I think the Wii Fit Trainer is going to be on my shelf first, as well as the Mario with the fireball because the design of that is just so cool. And it’s up to us to make sure that these are not only just collectibles, but also have value for in-game. So hopefully we do that, I have a whole bunch of characters I really hope come, but I can’t announce any because I don’t know what they are, but there will be a lot more, no doubt.
3GEM: You wouldn’t happen to have a price point on these things?
Matt Ryan: We haven’t announced prices yet, not for Canada. I don’t think the US has either.
3GEM: I was just about to ask you if the US had.
Matt Ryan: I think that the US did, I could be wrong though, we’ll just stay with that. The price hasn’t been announced yet.They will be affordable though and we’ll send them in singles and three packs.
3GEM: And we’ll know what we’re buying basically?
Matt Ryan: Yeah, you’re not going to buy with a question mark, although it would be an interesting way to do it. (laughter) You’ll know, you’ll know.
3GEM: My third Mario! (laughter)
Matt Ryan: We’ll happily sell you three Marios if you want. Some people will do that, and I’ll tell you why. Amiibo will hold the information specific to the game that you are using it in, and then when you transfer it to a different game, (because you can use Amiibo in Captain Toad and you’ll be able to use it in Kart), then they’ll be a part of that game. You can bring them back into another game, but you will lose the data, so there’s gonna be reasons. Some people won’t want to take them out of the packaging, right? Serious collectors will keep them in packaging, I think those are gonna be some people that will buy multiples.
3GEM: Nintendo’s plan for Canada. Do you have any plans to make yourself bigger now that you are kind of taking off? Nintendo had quite the power surge since Kart came out. And it’s just everywhere.
Matt Ryan: You mean like expanding our operations?
Matt Ryan: No, we have no plans for that. I mean we’ve been established for a while, we’re just not a very loud company when it comes to our presence in a market. What I mean by that is we’ve been in Vancouver for a very long time — that’s where our head office is, and our office was launched because it was very close in proximity to Nintendo of America’s only office. They have multiple offices now, but they’re run by Seattle. Plus there was the port there; products used to come off the boat. They used to go into our warehouse from which we’d ship them out. Now we’d logistical changes and digital distribution of software, we don’t need as much space so there’s no expansion plans, and that’s all I have to say about. We’re excited that people are purchasing more Wii U units and driving software sales, but that’s not a cause for us to change how we run our business from the scale of it right now.
That was it for the interview with Matt. 3GEM would like to thank him, his crew, and everyone at this post-E3 event for having us over and taking the time to talk with us. We also had a lot of fun and we invite everyone to check out our full coverage of the games we got to play!