Last weekend, the gaming world was profoundly changed when Nintendo announced the loss of its beloved president and CEO Satoru Iwata. While we are still heartbroken at his passing, we are also curious to see what happens next with the $22 billion company.
While Nintendo has yet to announce its new president, we do know who’s in charge in the interim: Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda. But who are they?
This guy is probably the most famous person at Nintendo, so you may have heard his name before. Not only did Miyamoto invent the original Donkey Kong game (where we saw the very first appearance of Mario), he also invented The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and Pikmin. It’s thanks to him that we have characters Luigi, Yoshi, Link, Princess Peach, Princess Zelda, Bowser, Toad, Ganon, and many more.
Miyamoto has appeared in several Nintendo Direct video presentations, including the recent E3 presentation with Satoru Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aimé, the COO of Nintendo of America. While in LA for E3, Miyamoto stopped by the Jim Henson studio and recorded a cute video with Brian Henson. You can watch it above.
This guy is not as well known as Miyamoto, but he has been working with Nintendo since 1972. In fact, Takeda designed Nintendo’s first-ever video game, EVR Race, and has been working with them ever since.
In addition to designing games, Takeda is also part of the research and development team responsible for inventing battery back-up memory, which allowed early Nintendo games to have information saved directly to their cartridge. He also helped to design the Nintendo 64’s controller and was a leading designer for the Wii console.
Both Miyamoto and Takeda have been at Nintendo for decades, but the likelihood of either of them stepping up and becoming president is pretty remote. The fact that Nintendo went with these old, familiar faces shows their respect for the late Iwata. Both Miyamoto and Takeda knew Iwata and are well-equipped to carry on with his style of leadership. Plus, it avoids almost all possibility of controversy among their enormous fan base (thank goodness).
Nintendo has only had four presidents since its founding in 1889, and only two presidents since it started producing video games. They will likely be hiring a familiar face for the role, but also someone who is young enough to carry the title for a long time.
We will keep you posted on updates from the company, as an official announcement is likely to come in the next few weeks.