"The process of game development is the same for everyone. At Nintendo, it's just as stressful, just as frustrating, and there never seems to be enough time, manpower or solutions. If there's a way to make it easy, we haven't discovered it yet."
- Nintendo's Satoru Iwata delivering the keynote speech at GDC 2011
Amid the launch of the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, company president Satoru Iwata took to the stage at GDC to reflect on the state of the game industry and voice his concerns about the then-nascent problem of discoverability in digital marketplaces that were rapidly overflowing with games.
"A few games do become mega-hits, but it's not easy. With such competition, even being noticed is extremely difficult; huge investments promise nothing," said Iwata. "Now, consider this. The corresponding number of games available to download from app sites is in the tens of thousands. Game development is drowning."
He was speaking at a time when Nintendo was coming down from the remarkable success of the DS and the Wii, and commiserating with other game makers about the challenges of continuing to make premium games and consoles at a time when it seemed like the rising tide of mobile games might swamp the industry.
It was a seminal speech, and if you missed it in person you can now watch it for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel. For more insight into Satoru Iwata's philosophy of game design, you can read this reflection on his career (with plenty of wisdom direct from Iwata himself) or this collection of quotes.
About the GDC Vault
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