Miyamoto: 'Strange' not to think about retirement

Mario, Zelda creator will turn 61 this year, is taking steps to prepare Nintendo for a future without him.

Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of famed franchises like Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, has no intentions of immediately retiring, but has taken measured steps to make sure Nintendo is prepared for the day he no longer works at the Japanese game giant.

"This year I'm past 60; I'm going to be turning 61 this year. So for me to not be thinking about retirement would be strange," Miyamoto told GameSpot today. "But in fact, the number of projects I'm involved in--and the volume of my work--hasn't changed at all."

"Instead, what we're doing internally is, on the assumption that there may someday be a time when I'm no longer there, and in order for the company to prepare for that, what I'm doing is pretending like I'm not working on half the projects that I would normally be working on to try to get the younger staff to be more involved," he added.

This initiative is not directly related to Miyamoto's retirement, he said, but is rather aimed at adjusting organizational structure at Nintendo.

"And this actually has nothing to do with any kind of retirement planning or anything of that sort. It's really more of simply the fact that people have a tendency, certainly when you're in an organizational structure, they have a tendency to always look to the person that gives them direction," Miyamoto said. "And really, for a long time I've been thinking that we need to try to break that structure down so that the individual producers that I'm working with are really taking responsibility for the projects that they're working on."

As a result, Miyamoto said he would rather have his producers focus on pleasing the consumer and not him.

"And as I like to say, I try to duck out of the way, so that instead of them looking at me, they're looking at the consumer and trying to develop their games with the consumer in mind rather than me in mind. So it's really more of looking at this as sort of an opportunity to really try to help develop them and bring them up."

GameSpot will have more from Miyamoto on a range of topics like Lugi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Pikmin 3, Wii U struggles, and more in the time ahead

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

560 comments
TQ_NintyNoE
TQ_NintyNoE

I think the core of Miyamoto's games and his influence on Nintendo through the last near 3 decades has shaped the company in such a way where their values and his are more or less in line. When he leaves, he'll have left behind a legacy of which is already ingrained and followed by staff, so his departure will not be noticeable from the products they produce.

Nintendo never cease to amaze me with their quality products. Even I could sit here and list off things that they could improve upon, like marketing and support, game console naming etc, but as long as I'm buying their consoles at least I know I'm getting fantastic games like Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Pikmin, Pokémon, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, Star Fox, Donkey Kong, Earthbound, F-Zero and more, coupled with their ability to enthral and keep me interested by their unique products. Sometimes I have to wait years for their sequels, like Twilight Princess and the upcoming Metroid and Zelda titles, which I understand because they're only ever released when they're ready.

I'm a fan because of how happy I am with their dedication to gaming, whereas nowadays the same sh1t gets pumped out by a majority of companies- yearly incomplete games needing 20 patches, DLC and constant online connection to play.  Even I'm guilty of buying Call of Duty on an annual basis, not anymore I'm afraid!

No thanks.

Batmanreborn
Batmanreborn

He will truly be missed.....I mean this dude made Mario and Zelda people....He will truely be missed....

jon2435
jon2435

I will miss his stage performances.  No one has made more charming games.  I hope he keeps going for as long as he can.

OldKye
OldKye

Miyamoto? think of the consumer? EA would cry Blasphemy! you must only think of the bottom line!

hehe and this is why he makes good game keep it up Miyamoto (^.^)b

MrOrbitz
MrOrbitz

Wow, didn't know Miyamoto was that old.. almost as old as my dad.

Anyway, I'm sure that when he does finally decide to leave Nintendo will be just fine.. You should really have more faith in a multi-billion dollar company with hundreds if not thousands of employees behind the scenes. I refuse to believe that a company that size is solely dependant on one person. People said the same thing about Apple and they'll probably do just fine without Jobs.

There's no doubt in my mind that Nintendo will still be successful even after Miyamoto moves on.

okassar
okassar

What's jarring about Nintendo is that it's actually easier to make creative new games than ever before. 15-20 years ago, I'm sure there were concepts developers ditched because the creativity had to be paired with technical capabilities that they simply didn't have at the time. 

Why, then, did they make a bunch of good series back then and slow down immensely when it became easier to do so? Because they're too focused on hardware. Isn't that ironic? If they did the same as MS and Sony and made consoles with the best stuff available (and sure, add a couple "cool features" then), they would be able to focus on what really matters again.

sunyatanada76
sunyatanada76

He is the soul reason why my childhood was bearable, thank you Mr. Miyamoto

IceCweam
IceCweam

Since Nintendo cut everyone's salary a while ago, it's no surprise Miyamoto mentions this. Come on Miyamoto. Retire from Nintendo already and join Sony or Microsoft or another company who will pay you more and give you the flexibility on working on superior hardware that can show everyone around the world how beautiful and fun your creations can be. Hardware limitations are frustrating to deal with. Sayonara Miyamoto-san. Ganbarimasu! 

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

He will definitely not leave in the 20-30 coming years (if Nintendo exists by then).

KratosHump3R
KratosHump3R

Miyamoto: 'Strange' not to be able to make good games anymore.

pgrammus
pgrammus

When Miyamoto goes, say goodbye to Nintendo... just how Apple has had massive fails since Steve Jobs passed... watch Nintendo do the same.

Shane Rogers
Shane Rogers

61 isn't even that old these days. He could easily work to 70+ Looks in good health and has a great job.

jazero1987
jazero1987

I dont think Miyamoto think as it as a job more a time to have fun. i dont think he leave yet 


NightFox313
NightFox313

It's amazing how Miyamoto can stay in his youth even at his age. Even after he's long gone, his games will still continue to impress me again and again.

AMG
AMG

Miyamoto is a legend and the heart and soul of Nintendo. It will be a sad for this industry when he retires.

AlexFili
AlexFili

I'm sure he'll still have a say in the big company decisions. He is an incredible guy!

hadlee73
hadlee73

Some people here seem to think Miyamoto hasn't aged a day. Perhaps he has a certain ring in his pocket... :P

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

Wow 61 already? The day is indeed really coming then.. I just hope that the people working under him ignore the consumers and think about him instead; I bet all my cards on whatever Miyamoto plans to do because he never once failed me, and I'm tired to hear that devs "thought about consumers" and bring exceedingly dumbed down half-assed games because some idiot prefers to press a button on a unnecessary cut-scene rather than playing the game. 

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

Well I can say I know, it'll be sad day when he does step from Nintendo, but he sure made it a helluva run!

Every lame ass CEO (either in the gaming world or not) should take a page on how to be true class-act like, Miyamoto-san. He is the kind of company head who wasn't afraid to take personal responsibility for his companies woes and point faults that he feels they could have done better (even going so far as to take PAY CUT out of his own salary, after the 3DS lackluster start). 

He's not just an awesome creative figure and business, but damn good human being, too. Definitely gonna be one helluva act somebodies gonna have to follow....

Needless to say, I certainly don't envy poor sap that's gotta take his place, lol. 

advancedcaveman
advancedcaveman

After hearing what he made them do with Paper Mario: Sticker Star (he basically told the team that continuing the Paper Mario tradition of adding new characters & settings & generally doing interesting, fun things with the Mario setting was "boring," resulting in the most boring, generic, watered down Mario RPG yet), I think it probably is time for him to retire. 


Kenneth Lionel Estrada Ayala
Kenneth Lionel Estrada Ayala

It's not like he's gonna die after his retirement. It's likely he will be called upon as a a resource or someone to take opinions and ideas from, like Hideo Kojima with MGS games. Although I doubt he will make the entire team make a video apologizing for making a game that sucks XD

Vampire64
Vampire64

Koizumi will take his heritage

Diogo Martins
Diogo Martins

I can't even imagine the WORLD without Miyamoto!!

Marcello Olegario
Marcello Olegario

No way, nintendo is already bad as it is, without him will fall for sure.

keldarironfist
keldarironfist

They should hire on Fumito Ueda, who did ICO and shadow of the colossus. Seems like a natural fit....

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

It's like thinking The Rolling Stones or Madonna won't be touring again.

Of course, they haven't done anything new in a decade either, so...

badwedgie00
badwedgie00

Finding a creative genius like Miyamoto will be very difficult. Perhaps Nintendo can look to the youth of Japan for one very talented individual to fill his role. People like Miyamoto, Joe Montana, or Cyrano de Bergerac, all geniuses in their chosen fields, seem to appear only once per generation. The 49ers were seemingly invincible with their star lineup -- Montana, Rice, Craig -- but after their departure have not since won a Super Bowl, much less entered it (save for the last one).  So it shall be with Nintendo.  It might be a good twenty years before they can once again win the video game super bowl. By that time, I will be ready to retire or relocate.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

Wow hard to tell the guy is over 60, kudos to him still working hard and doing good in the industry.

I hope Nintendo can hold out without him. It's not difficult to replace experience, replacing creativity is MUCH harder.

PlayStation 4 Community
PlayStation 4 Community

He's a game design genius. Nintendo need him to teach the next generation. The man is a legend! Respect.

Joe Neville
Joe Neville

Miyamoto leaving would be a good thing, the constant churning out of Mario games will finally come to an end. Nintendo need new IPs, not the same crap on a yearly basis.

kreegan64
kreegan64

@aloufika Not to sound racist or anything, but I've noticed that Asian people tend to have people that looks much younger than they are. Miyamoto here is a good example, I thought he was in his late forties with his energy and all.

Facelord
Facelord

@MrOrbitz With hardware like theirs? SUCCESS is doubtful, survival is plausible. I could see their software continuing to perform decently, I just hope they stop milking their franchises so much and put out some new IPs. Their last good new IP was Pikmin, from 2001, and they milk their franchises worse than anyone else in the industry's history(Activision, EA and Ubisoft have NOTHING on Nintendo).


I don't think Nintendo will necessarily "die" because of their recent failures to make viable platforms, but I do think they'll become more and more irrelevant the more they keep cutting corners with their hardware. It's a joke that the 3DS and the Wii U compare more closely to the PSP and PS3 than the Vita and PS4, the Nintendo I fell in love with in the SNES era seems to have died.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

@BravoOneActual Whaa?? Yo, I can't speak for the Rolling Stones....but Madonna HAS had new material....oh and she has had tours, too. 

Solared
Solared

@badwedgie00  prehaps you never heard of Steve Young... pretty good QB won a Superbowl with the 49ers, an was instrumental when Montana couldn't play cause of injuries, not to mention his MVP awards, an is the only left handed QB in hall of fame...

Solared
Solared

@badwedgie00 perhaps you never heard of Steve Young, who took over when Montana left, was a 2 time MVP, SuperBowl winner and only left handed QB in the Hall of Fame

wcwj26
wcwj26

 @badwedgie00 Your comparing Nintendo's future to football players......

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

@mav_destroyer I know right! Wow, for running a company as Nintendo I'd never thought he's gotten that old, lol. Man, I hope I say blessed enough to be kickin' and young @ heart  when I get that old!

I definitely hope they pick the right person to replace--hopefully Miyamoto-san will be the one to choose who it will be. 

MrOrbitz
MrOrbitz

@Facelord I totally agree on your points of Nintendo refusing to innovate with their IPs, and their baffling policy of not even trying to future proof their products.

I'll admit that I'm not impressed with the Wii U and haven't even thought of buying one. But I just don't think a company as large as Nintendo is solely dependant on one person. Which is what a lot of people here seem to be implying. Maybe Nintendo will one day go the route of SEGA and become a software only company, only time will tell.. But I just don't think their failure or success is solely ensured by a single person.. No matter how much of a genius he is.

IceCweam
IceCweam

@ABEzilla116 @IceCweam  Him leaving for good would be a sad day. He created so many fun games. He will be missed. I figured he could do this into his 90's or whenever he starts to lose that gaming touch. 

Facelord
Facelord

@MrOrbitz@FacelordI agree, I don't actually have much value for Miyamoto. His popularity is mostly just a marketing thing, dozens of other Nintendo developers have contributed to great titles while he got most of the credit for... well, for being Miyamoto. He really is the Steve Jobs of Apple, while people like Gunpei Yokoi(RIP) and Sakurai are more deserving of praise. If Miyamoto left Nintendo tonight without warning, I guarantee Nintendo wouldn't be left in shambles or anything stupid. They'd just lose a valuable marketing tool, essentially.

I was a Nintendo fan from the day I played my first game(Link to the Past) to the day I got a 3DS and was horrified at how sickeningly mediocre it was. Luckily I got to refund that thing eight months later because it screwed up my vision(didn't have a single 3DS game by then because none of them appealed to me even by that point) and I got a Vita in its place, but it depresses me to no end that Nintendo's become such a joke. The Wii U adds to that disappointment, I got excited because it's a new Nintendo system, but when I learned of its technical specifications, the low quality of the Gamepad and the fact it lacked a hard drive and important things like DVD/bluray playback(still? Really?), they kinda just died to me. I'm sticking with Playstation for now, haven't been this happy with gaming since the SNES days, but if Nintendo ever puts out a decent console again and focuses on more new IPs I'll give them another chance. At this point I think I'd prefer them going software-only, Metroid, Mario, Zelda, Kirby and Pikmin on my Vita would be glorious. Heck, even an Animal Crossing game with Near and GPS features would rock.