Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was met with a relatively positive reception at E3 this year, especially from those who were skeptical of the game following media leaks online. During an interview with Eurogamer, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto sat down to discuss how collaboration on the game began and where Ubisoft’s future is headed; recent discussion had been made when reports of a possible takeover from Vivendi were publicly released.
On creating Mario + Rabbids, Miyamoto had this to say:
Shigeru Miyamoto: It started out when launching Just Dance in Japan – and the idea to have Mario in there. Ubisoft has provided a lot of support for [Nintendo] hardware and they understand how it works. They’ve made products which are very satisfactory and fit the market we’re shooting for. We’ve had a relationship now for over 20 years, but this is the first time we’re operating at the level where we’re sharing characters.
In terms of major games in both companies – Ubisoft has Rayman, it’s a similar sort of platformer. We thought about ways of collaboration and then Rabbids came up – and that them collaborating with Mario might be a fun idea. We also wanted to create a new genre with this collaboration.
When asked about the Vivendi takeover, both Guillemot and Miyamoto responded by saying:
Yves Guillemot: It’s important to show what our teams can do. What is important – and always has been within the company – is to create something new and different. Here, [our developers] were so happy with the potential collaboration with Mr. Miyamoto, to learn from the master of this industry, to collaborate with him is something our team has been completely amazed by. So yes, we want all of our teams to grow, to create new things, but also things which are unforgettable. With this equation, it has been something terrific. And, as you said, it is important for us to show that, but it really is the nature of Ubisoft.
What we like about Nintendo is we have the same philosophy of creating worlds and characters that are fun, that are going to help you understand a world and be happy to live in it. So, this collaboration is not only between characters, it’s between people.
Shigeru Miyamoto: The producers and directors of this game – on the Ubisoft and Nintendo side – were able to really work together. As I mentioned earlier, Ubisoft has a really good understanding of how Nintendo works, and how Nintendo works with other developers. A lot of the humour in the game as well – I think we were able to show how much Nintendo can handle some of those jokes. And because Nintendo and Ubisoft have similar views on what a product should be, I think it [has turned out] pretty faithful.
Eurogamer: And presumably a strong and independent Ubisoft is important to Nintendo, and the industry in general?
Shigeru Miyamoto: Yes – I think you’re absolutely right.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle releases for the Nintendo Switch on August 29th.