The Miyamoto Chronicles: What To Think?

This week, three words that gamers have hoped to never see in the same sentence appeared together, freezing the Internet in its tracks.

“Shigeru.” “Miyamoto.” “Retire.”

In an upcoming interview with Wired, Miyamoto apparently uses the dreaded “r” word, saying that he will step down from his current position and focus more on development of “smaller projects.” Naturally, Nintendo has denied these claims, strongly proclaiming that Miyamoto-san isn’t going anywhere.

This whole things is slowly turning into an insane war of words, but a question must be asked: what’s the real story here? We won’t really know what the facts are until Wired’s interview releases, and even then it could be up to interpretation, but there are a few scenarios that could be plausible:

– Miyamoto, as was originally claimed, will head smaller projects instead of overseeing the heavy hitters like Zelda and Mario. This is the most intriguing situation for me, because a creative Miyamoto is a great Miyamoto. Not to say he hasn’t been creative recently, but what was the last game he had a serious hand in? That’s right, Wii Music. What if Miyamoto stopped focusing on Mario and Zelda titles and instead focused all of his energy on, say Pikmin 3? Or even a brand new Nintendo IP? The possibilities here are immense and very intriguing.

– Miyamoto is fully retiring, and Nintendo is so incredibly scared of it that they’ll deny it until the truth comes out. This isn’t very likely, as I think Nintendo would choose to honor its own version of Walt Disney rather than sweep his possible retirement under the rug. The 2% stock drop out of fear doesn’t lend itself to stance of ignorance either. Still, a panic mode isn’t out of the card, as Nintendo has never had to worry about the star of the show leaving the stage.

-Miyamoto just used the wrong word. It seems way too far out to be possible, but you just never know.

Some think that Miyamoto’s leaving would be a fresh step in the right direction, citing him alone as the reason for Nintendo’s recent swoon. They’re willing to throw away 25+ years of gaming excellence to see him go, a sort of “what have you done for me lately” approach usually reserved for giant, soulless gaming retail corporations. I’m not willing to do that just yet, especially if Miyamoto is just changing his role with The Big N.

As I said above, if Miyamoto wants to go back to being creative and building smaller projects into juggernauts, he can have at it. His track record certainly allows him some leverage, no one can deny that.  Furthermore, it doesn’t sound like he’s leaving Nintendo at all, it sounds like merely a change in title. The collective heart attack that fans are having, while warranted, is a bit premature.

That said, if Miyamoto is indeed leaving Nintendo forever, I’ve two things to say:


Two (once I’ve calmed down), thank you for everything you’ve done for the medium we love so much. We just wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you and your brainchildren.