Q: I've heard you say that you always wanted to make this game on the Wii. What is it that you like about the Wii as a platform?
WS: Well, I've always wanted to do a Nintendo game. I'm a fanboy, I'm a gamer [laughs] so I've always said for years that the Zelda games are my favourite games. I can't make them - I don't think like that - but I love playing them. And I love the Mario games. I've always wanted to make a Nintendo game and I've never had the chance, so having the opportunity was kind of cool. And then when you think about Mickey Mouse... Okay, I'm going to name some characters over here [gestures]: Mario, Link, Kirby, Donkey Kong. And now I'm going to name some characters over here: Master Chief, Grand Theft Auto Thug, JC Denton... Mickey Mouse?! One of these things is not like the others, right? In terms of the character, and in terms of what I'm trying to do with the character, which is to get him, and the idea that play style matters, to a broader audience, the Wii is the place to go. The Wii has the broadest audience, it has an audience that's open to the kind of gameplay hierarchy that I wanted to try. And the gestural control, let's not forget that. The only game in town, when we started, was the Wii.
Q: It feels to me that it took developers a long time to work out how to use the Wii's controls to make proper games, rather than just shoe-horning motion controls into something. Now we have other console-makers exploring similar technology, but it seems that the Wii may be finally coming of age. Do you agree?
WS: Yeah, I think if you look at what Nintendo is showing right now, the strength of games is great. That's another thing that really appeals to me about Nintendo - it's a gamer's game company. The CEO, Mr Owada, was in development. They're all about gameplay. If you're a designer and you go, "Wow, shaders! Realistic graphics! That's what games are all about!" Games are about gameplay, and Nintendo has always gotten that. Even on their handhelds.
Q: I know you've played the 3DS because you were ahead of me in the queue at E3! What do you think of it?
WS: Well, I've been pretty vocal about the fact that I love the 3DS. I've described it to anybody who'll listen as the coolest thing I've ever seen at an E3 show in any category of thing - hardware, software, you name it! I just think it's amazing!
Q: So do you think it's fairly safe to say that we'll see something from you on that platform?
WS: Who knows? I can't say at this point.
Q: But you'd like to?
WS: Oh, I'd love to work on the 3DS. Absolutely, yes.
Q: How do you feel about the current state of gaming? Do you think we're in a good place?
WS: I think we're in a great place. Actually, I think that this is kind of a Golden Age. I can make a Wii-exclusive game featuring Mickey Mouse. Someone else can make an all-original $100m MMO. I've got friends who are literally working alone on indie games that have no prospect of profit or commercial success. I've got guys working on iPhone games. There are so many ways to reach an audience now, and so many platforms. There's downloadable stuff, Facebook games. Anybody who can't find a way to fit into the game business, who wants to be in the game business now, or anybody who can think of a games style for which there is no market... I mean wow, you're way more creative than I am! When the coolest thing about your business is that everything is happening right now, you're in pretty good shape. The thing is - by the way, I'm not saying this - but even if you think every game on Facebook is no good, hey, the stuff on the Wii is great. And if you think the stuff on the Wii is bad, go to the Independent Game Festival and look at all the stuff that's happening there. And if you think all that's bad, go to the app store and buy stuff there. It's insane. There's something for everyone, which means there's something for every developer to do that's meaningful for them, that will ignite their passion.
Q: Do you regard things like Farmville to be proper games?
WS: I don't quite get them, either as a player or a developer, so I'm not the guy to make one - and thank God there are millions of people out there playing them. Again, that's the whole point - there's something for everyone, which is kind of cool. Gaming is in a very special place right now and we should be revelling in it, enjoying the parts that we love and letting other people enjoy the parts that they love. The more people who game, the better for everyone.
Epic Mickey is due for release exclusively on the Wii this winter.