The internet was buzzing earlier today with news that Shigeru Miyamoto would be retiring from his current role as head of game design for Nintendo. The iconic videogame super-producer’s achievements run through the recorded history of modern gaming, including the creation of Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Pikmin, Nintendogs, and countless other franchises. In what appeared to be a shocker to the industry, Miyamoto told Wired that he’d been talking about retiring. “What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself,” Miyamoto told Wired, adding, “I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small.”
On the scale of pop culture retirement, though, what could have been a Gene Hackman turned out to be a mere Steven Soderbergh. EW reached out to Nintendo of America and received the following statement:
Looking back at the initial interview, Miyamoto never actually described any intention to leave the company — it sounds more as if he wants to get back into the trenches, like Captain Kirk in Wrath of Khan. Thanks to new technologies and new downloadable delivery methods — smartphones, console media services, Flash games on the internet — we’re currently in the early stages of a fruitful Renaissance in smaller independent games. It could be that Miyamoto wants to take a more active role in creating some of those smaller-scale games.
The timing of his statements is also intriguing, coming just as Nintendo is preparing to debut the new Wii U console next year. I’ll be sure to ask Miyamoto for his thoughts about Nintendo’s future (and his own) when I speak with the man himself tomorrow. (That is, if I can somehow prevent myself from only asking questions about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.)
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