When Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was, at long last, revealed to the world in Ubisoft’s E3 2017 conference, creative director creative director Davide Soliani was overcome with emotion.
Not only was three years hard work on display, but Soliani was unprepared for Nintendo’s legendary Shigeru Miyamoto to specifically mention him by name – someone that he had idolised growing up.
“It’s not easy to answer you, but you can imagine the pressure on me, because I’m just part of a team. I’m the creative director, so I feel the pressure,” Soliani explained to Nintendo UK.
“On our shoulders was the responsibility of three years of development. Ubisoft took quite a big risk, because we decided to embark on this game without knowing what the new Nintendo console would be or if the idea would be accepted.
“As a Nintendo player, growing up with Miyamoto games, he was almost a father, telling me bedtime stories every night. Seeing Miyamoto-san on stage, I was not ready for him to call out my name. I felt like everything was finally realised and I said ‘don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry’, but then I broke apart.
“Also, because a few rumours started on the internet, prior to our announcement, a few people made their own assumptions about the game, but now they can play it and they have changed their minds! They’re having fun and that is the biggest reward ever.
“So the conference for me was a wave of emotion that I couldn’t control, but I didn’t know that it was spreading all over the internet until I discovered it the night after. Because I was in the Nintendo booth ready to do a rehearsal for Nintendo Treehouse Live and a guy stopped me saying, ‘You are super famous in China, you have more than 2 million views on our website’ and showed me the picture of me crying. I said, ‘Oh noooo!'”
When it was pointed out that everyone was happy for him and sympathised with his reaction, Soliani added:
“I believe so, and I think it’s something I will never forget. I will probably create a still from that conference and frame it in my house. Because it doesn’t happen every day to have a legend on stage presenting a game you did using his characters. It’s more than honorary, it’s an occasion of a lifetime as they say.
“Still today I cannot process it entirely. It’s happening but it’s so fast. I was not ready. People queued for three hours at E3 and then said they liked it even after three hours of queuing!”
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will release exclusively for Nintendo Switch worldwide on August 29th.