As part of Sega’s 60th birthday celebrations, the company’s Chief Creative Officer, Toshihiro Nagoshi, has taken part in a video interview where he talks about his time with the firm.
Nagoshi is perhaps most famous for his association with the Yakuza franchise, but his history with Sega games back quite some time. He worked on arcade driving titles Virtua Racing and Daytona USA, before moving onto the Super Monkey Ball series. That series was significant because the original title was the first game Sega released on a Nintendo console when the company abandoned hardware and switched to multi-format publishing.
When asked about Super Monkey Ball (around the 12-minute mark), Nagoshi explained that the reason GameCube was picked as the platform for the port is due to the age range Nintendo hardware is aimed at. However, he adds that he feels “even now” Nintendo systems are aimed at the same age range:
I think even now the Nintendo platform is still a game console that is played by a wide range of age groups, but basically, I think it’s hardware for kids and teens. Amid all that, at that time, Nintendo was also putting a lot of effort into the kids market, and I thought it would suit.
It’s worth noting that there are some online who are challenging Sega’s official translation of Nagoshi’s comments, and feel that the tone of what he’s trying to say hasn’t been accurately conveyed:
Still, it’s hard to argue with Nagoshi’s viewpoint – Nintendo, unlike Sony and Microsoft, do tend to cater to more younger players better, and in doing so, create content which has a low barrier to entry and can be enjoyed by the whole family – which is no doubt why its hardware and software is so popular. However, you could argue that this has come at the expense of Nintendo fans getting as broad a spectrum of content as is possible; back in 2018, Nagoshi even revealed that Nintendo turned the game down, and Japan-only Yakuza collection for the Wii U was a commercial disaster.
However, games like Witcher 3, Doom and Wolfenstein II suggest that while younger players are one Nintendo’s biggest markets, there are still plenty of older gamers who use the system regularly and are seeking more mature experiences.