Nintendo has always been really protective of its IPs, with very few movie and TV series adaptations. The fact that those that were produced (such as the Super Mario Bros. movie and cartoon, or the Zelda cartoon) were of dubious quality (at best) is most likely one of the main reasons Nintendo has been so reluctant to hand over its IPs for movies.
But in the past few months, Nintendo has begun to change its stance on the matter. This was made evident by Satoru Iwata’s statements at several meetings with investors, where he clearly said Nintendo was ready to become much more agressive when it comes to licencing its IPs and characters (for adaptations, merchandising, etc.).
At E3, Fortune had the opportunity to talk with Shigeru Miyamoto about Nintendo’s possible return to the movie world. The famous creator explained that over the years, a lot of companies have come to see Nintendo about making a movie based on one of their IPs. Since movies and games seem like similar media, plenty of people think the company wants to take its games and turn them into movie. Not Miyamoto.
For Miyamoto, video games are an interactive medium, whereas movies are a passive one: therefore, they couldn’t be more different. That being said, time changes, and the company is now open to discussions.
Here’s what Shigeru Miyamoto said on this matter:
“As we look more broadly at what is Nintendo’s role as an entertainment company, we’re starting to think more and more about how movies can fit in with that—and we’ll potentially be looking at things like movies in the future,”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all Nintendo games will get a movie adaptation down the road, but it’s certainly a positive sign. One thing is certain though: being open to movie / series adaptations doesn’t mean will start licencing its IP and characters to just anybody, and quality control will remain a central pillar of their strategy.