Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary creator of some of Nintendo’s most revered properties, was approached by rapper Kanye West in 2015 to develop a video game.
In an anecdote told by former IGN employee Zachary Ryan on Twitter, Miyamoto met West on the show floor during the E3 2015 conference. Miyamoto told Ryan that West approached him out of the blue at the booth of Nintendo and presented him with a working prototype of the game, titled Only one. Miyamoto apparently played the game but never ended up working on it.
Ryan’s thread describes West’s game as Miyamoto experienced it. The game would involve playing as West’s mother, who died a few years earlier. As Donda West, the player would fly off to heaven while Kanye West’s music played in the background. Miyamoto found the game baffling and was even more surprised that West wanted to collaborate with Nintendo to complete it. However, Miyamoto also said he found the experience “interesting” and described the concept as “very moving”. A few weeks later, Kanye announced Only one to a crowd of fans with a trailer, saying it’s “coming soon”. There has been no word on this since.
In 2020, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé told the same story. According to Fils-Aimé, the story extended beyond the E3 show, with West even planning a meeting with Nintendo where he officially presented the title. Fils-Aimé seemed impressed with West’s passion for video games as a creative medium, but not particularly eager to work with him on his game. , you don’t want to work with us because we’re tough, we’re tough. All we do is push for the best content. We wouldn’t be the type of partner you would want to work with.'”
Although Kanye West’s playing has yet to surface, he has continued to work on other projects, most recently releasing two albums named after his late mother: donda and 2. At the same time, the artist would have maintained a passion for video games. According to a reply to Ryan’s Twitter thread, he once went to a GameStop in Hawaii to buy a DS Lite and all the first-party games released for the system. If his video game ever comes out, it probably won’t be published by Nintendo.
Unfortunately, the 2022 E3 event has been canceled, so if West hopes to pitch his game to Shigeru Miyamoto again, he’ll have to do so through other means. In the meantime, audiences can learn more about West’s life from the Netflix documentary Jeen Yuhs and listen donda and 2 — the former is available on most music streaming platforms, while the latter is exclusive to West’s music listening device, the Stem Player.
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