Shigeru Miyamoto, Godfather of Gaming, Exiting His Current Role in Nintendo in 2012. (Updated)

Shigeru-Miyamoto-Godfather-of-Gaming-Exiting-His-Current-Role-in-Nintendo-in-2012As the man who created Mario, Zelda and changed gaming as we know it, Shigeru Miyamoto recently announced his departure in his current role for Nintendo. No, this isn’t April Fools five months early, and yes, my heart sunk as well.

Before we all start bawling like we’re five again, he has decided to step down in his position, but not out from Nintendo. In an interview with Wired Magazine, Miyamoto explained his supposed retirement.

“I'm not saying that I'm going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position,” explained Miyamoto. “

Miyamoto started out as an out of work illustrator, yearning to be a manga artist. Eventually, he signed up for working for Nintendo, helping them craft arcade games. His first title was Radarscope, which was successful in Japan, but failed to penetrate the US market. As a last ditched effort, Miyamoto was given the permission to turn the unsold units into a new game, creating Donkey Kong, Pauline and Mario in the process. As the years went on, he crafted masterpieces of gaming such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Star Fox, and Pikmin. In 1990, he ended up in his current role, Senior Managing Director and General Manager of Nintendo EAD (Entertainment Analysis and Development Division.)

He went on to add that he’d like to start working on new and exciting projects that don’t take several years to craft, instead focusing on personal gaming creations and working with a smaller and younger group of up-and-coming developers. His new role will begin in 2012, 22 years after he took on his current role in the company.

The reason that Miyamoto decided to step down makes sense. He’s getting older, and he wants to slow things down a bit and take on smaller projects. In addition, Miyamoto has very publically been speaking in interviews about pushing creators of the newest Star Fox and Zelda games that if they aren’t the best in the series that he will never create another game in those series again. He has moved much of the development of current franchises into capable hands of his protégés, creators such as Koichi Hayashida and Eiji Aonuma.

“After all, if I'm there in my position as it is, then there's always kind of a relationship,” said Miyamoto. “And the young guys are always kind of in a situation where they have to listen to my ideas. But I need some people who are growing up much more than today.”

The Mr. Miyagi of video games, Miyamoto has done wonders in his current position. Tell us what you think of this news. Does it excite you he’ll be stepping down to work on smaller projects? Do you think it’s too soon or just the right time? What do you foresee of the future?

UPDATE: Nintendo has reported to Reuters that the interview was a misunderstanding. A spokeswoman for Nintendo stated that "This is absolutely not true." she continued, There seems to be a misunderstanding. He has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned."

The news caused Nintendo's stock to drop 0.7 percent in the Nikkei stock exchange, along with shares lowering 2 percent down to 11,040 yen.

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Last Updated ( 08 December 2011 )  

Michael "Miketendo" Levy

Raised on an NES, Saturday AM cartoons and sugary cereal, Michael Levy was your average 80's kid growing up. Despite having odd obsessions with bears, peanut butter, zombies and Tifa Lockhart, 'Miketendo' is also the creator of the YouTube review series: D.Y.H.P.T.G?! (Dude, You Haven't Played This Game?!)

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(Link to this comment) Tyron 2011-12-08 09:29
I feel sad that he is retiring, but I think he won't be able to keep being retired.

I can see him being "guest producer" of games and possibly doing something unique for Nintendo?

Also I can imagine him spending the rest of his time in a dedicated Nintendo room full of displays, props and trophies playing all the games he spent years making.
(Link to this comment) Miketendo 2011-12-08 13:14
Updated. Lucky I caught this before work. Maybe Miyamoto's translator sucks. Or, maybe Miyamoto never clued Nintendo in on his "retirement." Either way, I'll update again if Miyamoto comes back with, "No guyz srsly, I'm outtie." That's clearly how Miyamoto talks.
(Link to this comment) Welshwuff 2011-12-09 10:32
Its for the best really, hes not the only guy in the world who can make games after all, capcom do a fine job when they do a Zelda game. I think it is best he steps back and sticks around just for advice at least, better for him to gradually hand over control to new capable people rather than just leaving or.. dieing (the guy is getting old guys) and leaving everyone clueless what to do. Im not scared nor happy about the news but its better to not rely on just one man all the time, maybe Nintendo can spread its wings more and try more experimental games and new IPs than sticking to Miyamoto's self defined safty zone.

Its also alittle upsetting to see people get so wound up about a rumor, yet i cant recall anyone showing saddness when Gunpei Yokoi passed away. Im going to call this the "Steve Jobs effect".

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