Last night, Wired.com featured a portion of an interview with Nintendo’s famed Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. The article claimed directly that Miyamoto had announced plans to retire from his current position with Nintendo.
Here is one of several bits in the story that indicates Miyamoto is stepping down from his immediate role with Nintendo:
“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.”
And, here’s another:
“What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself…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…
…In other words, I’m not intending to start from things that require a five-year development time…”
Now, a Nintendo spokesperson has stepped up on the company’s behalf to deny these allegations and assert that Miyamoto is not, in fact, going anywhere. Reuters has the quote:
“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.”
As Reuters points out, Nintendo shares dropped 2% after this news broke, compared to the overall 0.7% drop that occurred on the Nikkei.
Even as we ran our story, we clarified the same point Wired seemed to be making in their brief segment: Miyamoto was not leaving Nintendo, he was simply stepping down from his position in order to give the next generation a chance. Nintendo, it seems, is going even further in denying that Miyamoto is stepping down at all.
Whether this is a misinterpretation on Wired’s part or a misrepresentation by Miyamoto remains unclear. It seems, however, that Miyamoto isn’t going anywhere for a while; Nintendo is clearly asserting that point.
We’ll have more on this as it develops.