As part of Sega’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the company’s Creative Director, Toshihiro Nagoshi, participated in a video interview in which he talks about his time with the company.
Nagoshi is perhaps most famous for its association with the Yakuza franchise, but its history with Sega games goes back some time. He worked on arcade driving titles Virtua Racing and Daytona United States, before moving on to Super monkey ball series. This series was important because the original title was the first Sega game released on a Nintendo console when the company ditched the hardware and switched to multi-format release.
Asked about Super Monkey Ball (around the 12-minute mark), Nagoshi explained that the reason GameCube was chosen as the platform for the port is due to the age range that Nintendo hardware is targeting. However, he adds that he believes that “even now” Nintendo consoles cater to the same age group:
I think even now the Nintendo platform is still a gaming console that’s played by a wide range of age groups, but basically I think it’s material for kids and teens. In the midst of it all, at that time Nintendo was also putting a lot of effort into the kids’ market, and I thought that would fit.
It should be noted that there are netizens who dispute Sega’s official translation of Nagoshi’s comments and feel that the tone of what he is trying to say was not conveyed accurately:
Still, it’s hard to argue with Nagoshi’s point of view – unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo tends to cater better to younger gamers and in doing so creates content that has a low barrier to entry and can be enjoyed by the whole family – which is no doubt why its hardware and software are so popular. However, you could argue that this has come at the expense of Nintendo fans who get as wide a range of content as possible; in 2018, Nagoshi even revealed that Nintendo turned down the game and that the Japan-only Yakuza collection for the Wii U was a business disaster.
However, games like Witcher 3, Loss and Wolfenstein ii suggest that while young gamers are one of Nintendo’s biggest markets, there are still plenty of older gamers who regularly use the system and are looking for more mature experiences.