Minecraft arguably stands as one of the biggest names in gaming today, an impressive feat since its history harks back to a lone developer working on a project that would one day end up being bought by Microsoft for a hefty sum.
A lot of factors contribute to Minecraft's popularity, one of which is the effortless accessibility with which players can let their creativity run amok. But what would happen if Nintendo had made the game in the first place? Turns out it could have, or at least, it had worked on something very similar years ago.
A Shelved Minecraft-esque Nintendo Game
In an interview with Glixel, Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of gaming heavyweights such as Mario, Zelda, and a laundry list of others, has stated that Nintendo dabbled with experiments in the Nintendo 64 era that closely resembled Minecraft.
"We had actually done a lot of experiments that were similar to [Minecraft] back in the N64 days and we had some designs that were very similar. It's really impressive to me to see how they've been able to take that idea and turn it into a product," said Miyamoto.
Given Nintendo's distinct predilection for letting users cultivate their creativity, as is the case with Super Mario Maker, it makes sense that a company like Nintendo would have produced a title in the same vein as Minecraft. Miyamoto didn't elaborate why Nintendo's Minecraft-esque experiments were shelved. Chances are, Nintendo hadn't figured out how to make a compelling sandbox builder, so it didn't push through with it.
Other Nintendo Could-Have-Beens
Over the years a lot of games have gotten shelved, never to see the light of day, with each usually mired by development paralysis either technical or creative. One notable shelved game, as reported by Kotaku, was Cabbage, a Tamagotchi-like title worked on by gaming legends Shigesato Itoi, creator of Mother; Tsunekazu Ishihara, a producer of Pokémon games; and Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
There was also a cancelled Super Mario 64 sequel tentatively named Super Mario 64 II. The developers had only managed to create a demo, one which had never been released to the public. If this had been released, it would have marked the first-ever sequel to a 3D Mario platformer, a distinction Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the Wii now holds.
What do you think a Nintendo Minecraft-esque game could have looked like, especially considering that it was made at a time when home consoles had very limited power as compared with today's generation? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!