Nintendo’s Secret to Creative Continuity: Affinity for Long-Tenured Staff and Fresh Perspectives

Key Takeaways:
– The original creative team behind the first Super Mario Bros. played a role in the latest game, Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
– Nintendo credits its long-tenured staff as a key to maintaining creative continuity.
– The production team values the interest and knowledge of newer staff to keep their games updated and appealing.

Super Mario Franchise’s Faith in Its Original Creative Team

The ever-popular Super Mario series stands out in a rapidly evolving games industry with its successful strategy of maintaining core creative teams across sequels. A point of interest is the significant continuity from the 1980s Super Mario Bros. to the most recent installment, Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Those who engineered the original Super Mario Bros. were found innovating in the Wonder’s creation last year.

Stability and Continuity Through Tenured Staff

In an enlightening sit-down with Ars Technica, Takashi Tezuka, the producer of the recent Wonder game, shed light on Nintendo’s creative continuity. He stated that the secret to achieving such continuity lies in retaining long-serving staff, as people tend not to leave the company. Having worked together over extended periods, the communication flow among team members is natural and unforced.

Tezuka underscored that their long-tenured staff instilled enduring stability and ensured the franchise’s survival in an occasionally unstable industry. However, he also highlighted a cautionary note about the potential risk of resting on the laurels of industry veterans.

Balancing Tenured Expertise with Fresh Perspectives

The Nintendo producer emphasized that while an experienced team offers valuable insights, ensuring the games’ appeal requires a balancing act. In this regard, Tezuka expressed his enthrallment in observing the gaming habits, preferences, and thoughts of new members of their team. He finds it fascinating to devise ways of merging the expertise of the seasoned staff with the fresh perspectives of the newer members.

According to Tezuka, the intriguing blend of ideas from these two distinct groups—in terms of experience—creates a captivating dynamic that delivers appealing games.

While the game industry often witnesses regular layoffs, Nintendo’s strategy of purposeful continuity seems to have paid dividends. The gaming giant has successfully struck a balance between retaining the expertise of its veteran staff and adapting to changing times. This approach to creative continuity has played a crucial role in its ability to keep up-to-date with players’ ever-evolving needs and expectations.


Nintendo’s winning formula appears to be rooted in continuity and adaptation. The combination of experienced, long-tenured staff members with newer, fresh-thinking team members continues to yield successful results. As the gaming landscape remains competitive and fast-evolving, such creative harmony may be what’s needed to maintain continuity in successful franchises.

While the industry’s dynamics may necessitate change, Nintendo’s sterling approach to creativity proves that a mix of experience and fresh insights can be a game-changer. For firms aspiring to create or maintain successful franchises, the guiding philosophy seems to be simple: respect the past, embrace the present, and anticipate the future.


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