A description for a new job opening for an IP Art Asset Specialist at Nintendo has been posted on the company’s official site, and we find one section in particular a bit curious.
Evaluate artwork submissions to ensure the usage and design of Nintendo characters and/or other IP used within the overall design are in compliance with the Nintendo Style Guidelines. The artwork may be stand-alone items or Nintendo characters or IP incorporated into merchandise, including toys, figures and clothing; promotional materials for events including objects and full-body suits; and character proposals and artwork for use in movies and external websites.
The mention of movies in particular is very interesting in the face of Nintendo’s strides in branching into ventures outside of console and handheld gaming. With the success of Miitomo’s launch and the ongoing interest in Pokémon GO, its mobile expansions have been promising. Likewise, the development of a theme park area themed to the company’s properties coming to Universal Studios in Japan stands as another mark of this need for guaranteed, internal security of Nintendo’s characters. The mention of full-body suits could relate to the former, though mascot costumes of the likes of Mario and Pikachu already exist as common sights at the likes of E3 and other events.
On the subject of movies, it bears mentioning that Nintendo has had films released in the past. From full features, such as the Animal Crossing and Pokémon animated movies, to briefer, CG shorts like the Pikmin vignettes on the 3DS. Such a mention to movies in the description could be as simple as covering a base for potential uses or for projects in line with the above mentioned and nothing more. The idea of Nintendo characters cameoing in other projects is an open possibility, as the Disney feature Wreck-It Ralph showed. With a sequel confirmed and the film’s crew making it known they’d like to see Mario make an appearance, the nature and need of such a position isn’t unheard of.
On the more speculative side, this could lead to developments of live action or greater scale projects developed either wholly by Nintendo or in partnership with feature film studios. While there hasn’t been a live action effort since the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie, notable for deviating wildly from the source material, this could be the first hint at a more faithful adaptation in the works. Fans have clamored for some sort of live action Zelda content, including (admittedly debunked) rumors of a Netflix series based on the property. While there is no greater substance to what could be in the works, the potential for such based on this job description is definitely exciting.