Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of Nintendo’s Mario franchise, recently met with reporters to discuss the new Super Mario Brothers game for the Nintendo Wii. After reading a Wired.com report of the interview, I was impressed with how influential usability testing was in major design decisions of the game’s development.
When asked why the multi-player features of the game were not developed for network play, Miyamoto responded,
“…from our focus testing we found that when people were playing alone, they were very serious, and when they were playing together in the same room, they all had smiles on their faces and were talking back and forth. We felt that this type of experience was just better suited to a same room, face-to-face multiplayer experience, rather than over the Internet.”
Here’s a link to the full interview: http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2009/10/shigeru-miyamoto/