An interview with Miyamoto that appeared on Wired a few months back caused a stir, suggesting the acclaimed designer was actively telling staff about retirement. The story unsurprisingly spread like wildfire, causing Nintendo to clarify Miyamoto’s statements. According to Nintendo, Miyamoto was telling staff about his possible retirement to ensure they were aware of the impending reality.
Nintendo recently held a shareholders meeting at its headquarters, and the company addressed what the future of Miyamoto’s ongoing role at the company would be.
“As I am getting older, I have already started thinking of Nintendo without me in the future and I strongly feel that the company has steadily been preparing for doing business after I leave here,” said Miyamoto. “ However, last year when I said at an interview overseas that I was doing various things in prospect of Nintendo without me, it led to a direct report on my retirement. So I am aware I have to be careful in talking about this sort of thing.”
In line with previous statements, Miyamoto made it clear he will continue to oversee and collaborate on Nintendo’s biggest games, but he’s spending more and more time on smaller projects that could have the potential to become a huge part of Nintendo’s bottom line in the future, even if that potential has yet to be realized.
“Even now, I am making things and interested in the creative side just as I was before,” he said. “However, with regard to the big picture of, say, a new Mario Kart or the Super Mario series, younger people are already taking the main roles and I am just thinking as one of their co-workers. One big thing I recently handled is the Audioguide Louvre, referred to earlier in this meeting. This has not made money yet, but it has the potential to be one of our core businesses in the future.”
Miyamoto was choosing his words wisely, but nonetheless echoed his message to Nintendo’s staff.
“As I would like people working on each project to be able to do that kind of thing by themselves in the future,” he said, “I repeatedly say to them that today might be my last day at Nintendo and work with them today at the forefront of development.”