How Ubisoft convinced Nintendo to give Mario a gun

“We created tons of sketches, kilos of papers of sketches.”

– Ubisoft’s Davide Soliani, speaking to Glixel about the work involved with getting Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto to sign off on a strapped Mario.

Later this month Ubisoft intends to release Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle on the Nintendo Switch.

It’s a tactical, strategic mash-up of Ubisoft’s Rabbids characters with Nintendo’s flagship franchise, one that drew heads when it was announced at E3 this year — in part because it depicts Nintendo’s iconic characters packing heat.

Devs curious to hear how, exactly, that happened should take a look at a new Glixel interview with the game’s creative director Davide Soliari, in which he explains how he and his team worked with Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto to get the guns approved.

“It was a topic that we knew was quite sensitive,” said Soliani, explaining that the guns in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle had to be amusing and colorful before Miyamoto signed off on them. “We acted with a lot of common sense. We know Nintendo very well, so we acted like a first filter. We created tons of sketches, kilos of papers of sketches.”

In the same interview he explains that this was far from the first game idea the team at Ubisoft had when trying to come up with a good project to tie up the Rabbids with Mario; 13 different concepts were brainstormed internally, across all sorts of different genres.

“We started to scratch them out, one after the other,” Soliani said. “We went through a musical game, a first-person shooter game; but really the team is composed of mainly tactical fans.”

For more on how the project went from concept to prototype to (nearly) finished game, check out the rest of the feature over on Glixel’s corner of the Rolling Stone website.

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