Rumour: Shigeru Miyamoto to retire?
Thursday, December 08, 2011 11:20 AM
The news wires have been abuzz with speculation this morning that Nintendo guru and gaming icon Shigeru Miyamoto may be set to take a backseat within the company.
In an interview with Wired.com, Miyamoto indicated he would like to retire from his current position as manager of Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development (EAD) in favour of a more frontline development role.
"Inside our office, I've been recently declaring, 'I'm going to retire, I'm going to retire,'" Wired.com reported Miyamoto as saying through an interpreter.
"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."
"What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself," Miyamoto said.
"Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small."
The site reported that Miyamoto wants to start working on one such new project in 2012.
However, early this morning a statement from Nintendo emerged via Reuters denying Miyamoto's claims.
"This is absolutely not true," a spokeswoman for Nintendo stated.
"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."
What can we make of this?
Miyamoto speaks about retirement in a fairly roundabout way in the Wired.com interview, adding that "the reason why I'm stressing that is that unless I say that I'm retiring, I cannot nurture the young developers".
So it's difficult to discern if he actually is stepping down, or just threatening it to light a fire under the guys who will someday fill his shoes.
Although, again, he also affirms that "I'm interested in doing a variety of many other things" in the interview.
Nintendo, of course, is renowned for being secretive – as their most iconic personality, is it possible Miyamoto could have overstepped company boundaries?
Notably, Reuters reports that shares in Nintendo fell by two per cent to 11,040 yen on Thursday, compared with a 0.7 per cent drop in the Nikkei average, with some commentators jumping on this as evidence of the rumour's impact.
At the very least we can anticipate some new output from Miyamoto in the near future, and possibly a fresh title outside of his big, established franchises like Mario and Zelda – something Nintendo fans will no doubt look forward to.