Late yesterday US time, we reported on an article posted on Wired.com
that had some big news pertaining to Shigeru Miyamoto, the man most
associated with Mario, Zelda, and
almost every other thing Nintendo does. The article quoted the 59
year-old detailing how he was retiring from his current role within
Nintendo to work on
smaller projects. Hours later, as Nintendo stock prices dropped
news, company representatives flat-out denied the reports, though they
ultimately admitted (kind of)
that there was some truth to the news.
In a report to Reuters, a Nintendo spokeswoman was quoted as
saying, "This is absolutely not true... There seems to have been 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." Nintendo also gave a lengthier quote to IGN UK, stating:
"Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto's role at Nintendo is
not changing. He will continue to be a driving force in Nintendo's development
efforts. In discussing his priorities at Nintendo in a media interview, Mr.
Miyamoto explained how he is encouraging the younger developers at the company
to take more initiative and responsibility for developing software. He
attempted to convey his priorities moving forward, inclusive of overseeing all
video game development and ensuring the quality of all products. Mr. Miyamoto
also discussed his desire to pursue fresh ideas and experiences of the kind
that sparked his initial interest in video games."
So what do these quotes ultimately mean? Well, even if
Miyamoto's title and responsibilities remain fairly unchanged, both statements still
acknowledge that Shigeru is planning to train a younger generation of game
creators, which to us implies preparing the company for a future without him.
It could be years away, but Miyamoto is nearly 60 and retirement is obviously on
his mind. This seems more like damage control to us, as Nintendo more or less acknowledging Miyamoto's shifting priorities, even if his position is unchanged. We'll keep you posted on any new developments.