Nintendo wizard Shigeru Miyamoto is not retiring after all.
The news from Nintendo was big last night: Shigeru Miyamoto is retiring! Sort of. The statement was actually a little ambiguous; Miyamoto told Wired that he’d been telling people in his office that he’s going to retire, although not within any particular time frame and not in such a way that would actually lead to, you know, retirement. “I’m not saying that I’m going to retire from game development altogether,” he said. “What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position” in order to focus on making games and bringing along the next generation of developers. But – and this will come as a big surprise, I’m sure – all the world heard was, Miyamoto is retiring!
Well, no. Nintendo has since made a point of denying that Miyamoto is leaving his position as Senior Managing Director and General Manager of Nintendo’s Entertainment Analysis and Development Division. “This is absolutely not true,” the company told Reuters Japan. “There seems to have been a misunderstanding. [Miyamoto] has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down.”
Further clarification came in a statement issued this morning. “Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s role at Nintendo is not changing. He will continue to be a driving force in Nintendo’s development efforts,” it said. “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. He attempted to convey his priorities moving forward, inclusive of overseeing all video game development and ensuring the quality of all products. Mr. Miyamoto also discussed his desire to pursue fresh ideas and experiences of the kind that sparked his initial interest in video games.”
Something lost in translation, then? That’s always a possibility with interviews like this. There’s no question that the loss of Miyamoto would be a serious blow to Nintendo, a fact illustrated by the two percent tumble Nintendo’s share price took in Japan immediately following the story. That’s a pretty good reason for all this clarifying, and a pretty bad sign for what Nintendo is up against when Miyamoto’s real retirement finally comes.