Nintendo’s Wii Fit game went on sale last week, and is likely to be one of the year’s best-selling titles. The best-selling game, of course, will be Grand Theft Auto IV (TTWO). The titles couldn’t be more different: GTA IV lets you steal and kill your way across a fictional New York City; Wii Fit will let you do yoga.
Not surprisingly, the differences are reflected in their creators, too: GTA IV is the work of Sam and Dan Houser. Sam was described recently in the WSJ as a sort of hipster evil genius. The Wii Fit and the rest of Nintendo’s games spring from the mind of Shigeru Miyamoto, a Nintendo exec the NYT describes as “preternaturally cherubic.”
More fodder for the compare and contrast exercise:
- Sam Houser screams a lot and throws things at the wall; Take-Two lets him run the Rockstar division as his own private fiefdom.
- Miyamoto is “just another salaryman with a wife and two school-age children at home near Kyoto. He is not tabloid fodder, and he seems to maintain a relatively nondescript lifestyle.”
- Dan Houser on the philosophy on gaming: “f**k all this stuff about casual gaming. We’re hopefully going to prove that there’s also a very big audience for people who want entertainment in another form, who think of games as being a narrative device that can challenge movies.”
- Miyamoto’s philosophy: “I feel that people like Mario… and the other characters we’ve created not for the characters themselves, but because the games they appear in are fun.”
- Sam Houser may or may not have brandished a bat in the office
- Miyamoto plays piano and banjo.