Jul 18th, 2017

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was easily the game I’m most looking forward to playing. I’ve been a fan of XCOM-style tactical strategy games since I was a kid, so seeing that sort of gameplay mixed with Mario characters is definitely a childhood dream come true for a player.

It turns out, it’s also a childhood dream of the game’s creator, Davide Soliani. Soliani was interviewed in a behind the scenes video for the game that Ubisoft released during E3, which you can see below.

In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, he explains how nervous he was to be presenting his idea directly to Shigeru Miyamoto and shared some of his embarrassing moments in meeting with the legendary developer. He also mentions that Nintendo seemed to have some concerns about the use of weapons in the prototype game that was shown off, but Miyamoto assured the rest of the company that it had his blessing.

“This was one of the first things internally at Nintendo that they asked themselves about, but Miyamoto-san said that he was totally ok with it, so we can proceed. It was a huge moment for me because I was aware it could have been one of the show stoppers. But you can see that this game is very joyful, colourful and humorous.”

In fact, Soliani goes on to admit that he and his team have tried to give the game a cartoon appearance, to keep with the feel of a family-friendly Nintendo game.

Nintendo is more open to licensing their characters than they were in previous console generations, but that doesn’t mean the requirements are any less strict. Soliani says little things like the reflection in Mario’s eyes would net the smallest comment.

“Nintendo is polite, but also very precise. We received loads of comments on all the details. Things like the reflection in Mario’s eyes, or how Mario is posing… super small details.”

For those of you worried that the game won’t feel as magical because it’s not being developed by Nintendo but rather Ubisoft, I think this interview shows just how much care is going into using Nintendo’s IP in a completely new way.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – $59.99