Prominent Nintendo Hardware And Game Designer Retiring After 45 Years

Nintendo's first game designer.

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Genyo Takeda, a longtime Nintendo employee who has had his hands all over the company over the last five decades, plans to retire later this year.

The news was shared as part of Nintendo's latest earnings report, as Takeda currently serves on the board of directors, acting as both a representative director and Technology Fellow. He assumed the latter position following the death of former Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata; at the time, Shigeru Miyamoto was named to the role of Creative Fellow.

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Iwata had previously described Takeda, who joined the company in the early '70s, as "Nintendo's first game designer." As recounted in an Iwata Asks, Miyamoto recounts how Takeda created an arcade horse-racing game, EVR Race, that came out in 1975--the game that Nintendo considers its first ever, and one that came out while Miyamoto was still a student. Miyamoto also noted how the difficulty with maintaining EVR Race due to it use of a videotape helped to discourage Nintendo from using laserdiscs when "people were saying that laserdisc games would be the next big thing," because it was concerned with maintenance issues.

Takeda would go on to work with the team that created Punch-Out, the original arcade version of which used a dual-screen setup that would later be mimicked by the Nintendo DS. He would also play prominent roles in other key developments for the company. He's perhaps most famously credited as responsible for both the built-in battery that allowed progress to be saved in The Legend of Zelda and the creation of the N64's analog stick.

Takeda will retire from his role as representative director in June. He'll potentially be replaced by Ko Shiota, who currently serves as an executive officer and the GM of Nintendo's platform technology development division.

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