higeru Miyamoto is responsible for some of the most iconic virtual worlds in history, from the Mushroom Kingdom of Super Mario to The Legend of Zelda’s Hyrule. But he got his start in something much more tactile, studying industrial design in college before eventually embarking on a career in video games. It’s something he’s missed over the years. “The idea of using my hands to marketplace surabaya create something really fits well with me,” he says. More recently, he’s had a chance to get back to those roots, working with the team at Universal Creative on Super Nintendo World, which just opened up at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The nostalgia hit him particularly hard when he visited Florida to see where some of the pieces of the theme park were being constructed and test out the texture and materials. “Having these meetings, with the surrounding aroma of factories, was comforting for me,” Miyamoto says.
At 70 years old, Miyamoto is in one of the most experimental phases of his career. Previously the figurehead behind Nintendo’s biggest games, he’s spent the last few years leading ventures outside of the console games the company is known for. He helped lead development on Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s first major smartphone release, and serves as a producer on The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which opens in theaters in April.
And then there are the theme parks. Nintendo partnered with Universal to create Super Nintendo World, an immersive experience that aims to transport visitors to the Mushroom Kingdom. The first edition debuted in Osaka in 2021 (be sure to check out our impressions of the original park), and the Los Angeles location will be followed by subsequent versions in Florida and Singapore.