The top brass at Nintendo appear to have their wires crossed, judging by conflicting reports saying that Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Zelda and Super Mario Bros., may or may not be retiring.
Gaming’s biggest name announced yesterday in an interview with Wired that he will be stepping down from his head of game development position at Nintendo to pursue smaller projects.
"I’m not saying I’m going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position,” he says.
"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.”
Immediately following this announcement Nintendo’s stock took a 2% dive, prompting spokespeople from Nintendo to deny pretty much everything Miyamoto has to say.
"This is absolutely not true. 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,” said a spokeswoman.
Nintendo has since released an official statement denying Miyamoto’s retirement, so it seems either something was lost in translation, or Miyamoto has gone renegade.
Update: Miyamoto has clarified his position, telling the Wall Street Journal that although he is not retiring, the company needs to get used to not having him around.
"We have to construct the structure so that the organisation…can make it without me," Miyamoto says.
"I should also admit that it might be better without me; I mean that a different approach and different talent might emerge.”
However, the legendary designer, who created both Zelda and the Super Mario Bros, says unless he takes a backseat nobody will ever step up to replace him.
"And the young guys are always kind of in a situation where they have to listen to my ideas. But I need some people who are growing up much more than today.”
So while it does seem that the times are a changin’, Miyamoto is not waving goodbye to Nintendo just yet – and I can’t say I see that as a bad thing.