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The second part of Brian Fargo's IGN Unfiltered interview is now live. The veteran developer talks about the good old days, the origins of Black Isle Studios, and his experiences working with Nintendo and Blizzard, among other things. Check it out:
IGN's accompanying article focuses on one particular topic from the interview: Fargo's collaboration with Nintendo on Mario Teaches Typing, an educational game. A snippet:
On the latest episode of our monthly interview show IGN Unfiltered, Fargo discussed how the idea for the game came about. "At the time, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing was the big hit," he said, noting he knew its creator Les Crane, who, in addition to being a radio announcer and television talk show host, was the chairman of The Software Toolworks.
Fargo said he "had seen somewhere that over half the people were buying [Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing] to teach their kid to type," and so he thought a game like it with Mario as the instructor would be a great idea.
"So I thought, 'Well, a teacher... What's more interesting than a teacher but Mario?' So I went to Nintendo and pitched them and they loved it and it was a huge success," Fargo said.
However, Crane wasn't particularly happy about the game's success. In fact, when Fargo went to one of Crane's shows, he said Crane "was giving me the stink eye." Fargo later called him up to find out what was wrong, only to learn that Crane was upset with him because of his work on Mario Teaches Typing, which was in direct competition with his educational software.
Fargo also revealed how one poorly-crafted Mario product from another company ended Interplay's Mario game-making relationship with Nintendo. "We did Mario Teaches Typing and then we did Mario's Game Gallery. [Shigeru] Miyamoto liked what we were doing and so everybody was happy, and then somebody else came out with some other Mario product that was not high quality," he explained. "And so they came back and said, 'No more with Mario.' And we said, 'Yeah, but you like us.' And he said, 'Brian, we do but... no more.'"