Miyamoto update: Nintendo denies reports of him stepping down, says his job is unchanged

Late yesterday US time, we reported (opens in new tab) on an article posted on Wired.com (opens in new tab) that had some big news pertaining to Shigeru Miyamoto, the man most associated with Mario, Zelda, and almost every other thing Nintendo does. The article quoted the 59 year-old detailing how he was retiring from his current role within Nintendo to work on smaller projects. Hours later, as Nintendo stock prices dropped following the news, company representatives flat-out denied the reports, though they ultimately admitted (kind of) that there was some truth to the news.

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In a report to Reuters (opens in new tab), a Nintendo spokeswoman was quoted as saying, “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.” Nintendo also gave a lengthier quote to IGN UK (opens in new tab), stating:

“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. 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.”

So what do these quotes ultimately mean? Well, even if Miyamoto’s title and responsibilities remain fairly unchanged, both statements still acknowledge that Shigeru is planning to train a younger generation of game creators, which to us implies preparing the company for a future without him. It could be years away, but Miyamoto is nearly 60 and retirement is obviously on his mind. This seems more like damage control to us, as Nintendo more or less acknowledging Miyamoto’s shifting priorities, even if his position is unchanged. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments.

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