How important is one man to the fate of a multi-billion pound company? While it was clear to see how important Steve Jobs was to Apple, it seems as if Shigeru Miyamoto may hold a similar position in the hearts and minds of Nintendo fans and customers.
Parts of he internet almost went into melt down this morning following the publication of a news story on the Wired website, citing an interview with the legendary designer of Super Mario and Zelda which will appear in the Wired magazine this month, where he is quoted as saying:
“Inside our office, I've been recently declaring, 'I'm going to retire, I'm going to retire.' 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.”
Miyamoto (above) said he didn’t want to retire from games development completely but wanted to be in “the forefront of game development once again myself.” He mentions working on smaller projects with “even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small.”
While the announcement of Miyamoto retiring as head of development at Nintendo is a momentous decision, the prospect of seeing Miyamoto go back to active games development would seem like an intriguing prospect for many.
However, Nintendo has moved quickly to deny the reports, saying that 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.”
The confusion occurred apparently because the interview was carried out via an interpreter, though how they managed to misinterpret “What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position” is not that clear.
The importance of Miyamoto to Nintendo was highlighted by the fact that the company’s share price fell by 2 per cent to around £90, following the publication of the news story.
Do you think that Nintendo would suffer without Miyamoto at the helm? Let us know in the comments below.