Something especially cool happened at E3 2017. If you only watched Nintendo’s press conference, you missed it.
Shigeru Miyamoto came out on stage and promoted Mario + Rabbids. But even Miyamoto-san wasn’t the star of that show; Davide Soliani stole the spotlight.
Davide was the lead on developing Mario’s crossover with the Raving Rabbids. As you’ll remember, his passion project got leaked onto the internet and was met with a collective “huh?” from gamers.
It was a demoralizing period for his team, having poured months and months into crafting the perfect crossover that no one knew they wanted. The premature announcement was met with uncertainty.
The team pressed onward, through the disappointing turn of events, and made it to E3 where Kingdom Battle had its proper announcement and another shot at recognition. Nintendo lent Miyamoto for Ubisoft’s stage, as well as dedicated a slot of time in their Treehouse stream to showcase the game.
Sentiment around the game started to turn, but nothing so critical happened as when the camera at Ubisoft’s press conference focused in on Davide.
The developer had given Miyamoto the honor of introducing his game on stage, but Miyamoto turned the praise back to Davide and the crowd got to watch his reaction as tears streamed down his face.
The French game designer was overcome with emotion as his sweat equity had finally culminated in a finished product. But most every developer experiences that sensation. Davide also had the unique opportunity of getting to work with an industry idol, and partner with Nintendo on their own property. To see Miyamoto himself introduce a game that he had conceptualized brought him to tears.
“Don’t cry Ubisoft man” became a meme, a tee-shirt, and a rallying cry for those who wanted to show their support for Ubisoft’s crazy mash-up and the people responsible for creating it.
Sometimes, gamers just need a small reminder that humans create the software. Behind every work is a team of individuals with families, needs, and dreams.
For Davide’s sake, and those like him, measure your tone carefully when offering criticism online. The status quo is harsh, and it takes more effort to be constructive. Go the extra mile.