Tokyo - Nintendo on Thursday denied a report that Shigeru
Miyamoto, widely seen as the world’s most influential games designer, will
step down from his current position and take a smaller role in the company.
Wired magazine had quoted the 59-year-old creator of popular
games franchises including Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda as saying
in an interview that he wanted to retire and work on smaller projects, passing
the torch to younger designers.
“This is absolutely not true,” said a Nintendo spokesperson. “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
Shares in Nintendo fell 2% to ¥11 040 on Thursday, compared
with a 0.7% drop in the Nikkei average.
Miyamoto’s influence over Nintendo has been such that
analysts often ask about his latest hobbies to try to glean ideas about what
games he might work on next.
Any sign that the company might lose Miyamoto would be a
fresh blow for Nintendo, which dominated the games industry for years with its
Wii consoles and DS handheld devices, but has been struggling since its new
generation 3DS device flopped shortly after its February launch.
“Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring ’I’m going
to retire, I’m going to retire',” the Wired.com website quoted Miyamoto as
saying, via an interpreter.
“I’m not saying that I’m going to retire from game
development altogether. What I mean by retiring is retiring from my current
The Kyoto-based firm was forced to slash the price of its
3DS by about 40% six months after launch, and cut its forecast to a net loss
for the year. Markets also reacted negatively to the unveiling of the successor
to the Wii at the E3 games show in June.
The launch of a raft of new software, including Mario
titles, has propped up 3DS sales, at least in Japan, president Satoru Iwata
said in an interview with the Nikkei business daily this week.