Nintendo has often come under the fire by critics for not introducing many new IPs and often saturating their consoles with a multitude of Mario games. Charlie Scibetta, NOA senior director of corporate communications, decided to counter the critique by explaining that it is gameplay which creates a new IP and not the cast.
Scibetta explained, "The key to that is as long as there's innovation is (sic) occurring within the gameplay, as long as there's new features, then marrying the characters and the IPs that people love is the right call from our standpoint." He used an example from Super Mario 3D World stating that the clear warp pipes are used for guided navigation to avoid enemies and gain the advantage over them. "You could theoretically make a whole new game with those kind of gameplay dynamics," claimed Scibetta.
Scibetta made a rather interesting point. While Mario games do come out more rapidly than before, it is true that many of the games often introduce new aspects of gameplay. For example, Super Mario Bros. 2 used horizontal and vertical scrolling unlike Super Mario Bros. which only scrolled from left to right. Super Mario 64 created a less linear world hub and Super Mario Galaxy added the mechanics of gravity and traveling "across" the globes of each world.
As the interview reached its closing, Scribetta boldly claimed that as long there is new gameplay keeping a franchise fresh, each Mario game is a new IP. It just happens to be an IP with familiar faces.
How do you feel about Scribetta's reasoning for Nintendo's lack of new IPs? Is new gameplay enough to reuse the same cast repeatedly or is this an unhealthy business practice for any video game company?