Following his recent press tour of the US, Shigeru Miyamoto has been prominent in spreading the word about the Wii U, the "Year of Luigi" and more. His presence has also been a reminder of how significant a figure he is within Nintendo, as he's still the key representative of the company's ideals and approach to game development. When someone as important as Shigeru Miyamoto has been in the industry for 30 years, producing some of gaming's most iconic experiences, it's natural to wonder about the impact on Nintendo when he steps aside.
So touchy is the subject of Miyamoto's retirement that a leak in late 2011 suggesting it was imminent drove Nintendo stock prices down, with the company even having to issue a statement to confirm that he wasn't about to end his career. As he's passed 60 the day gets closer, but in a revealing interview with Rolling Stone he's suggested that such is his fulfillment and enjoyment at work, it's not in his plans at this time.
"I turn 61 this year. So I'm at an age where as I look around at people who work in different companies and they're all reaching an age where they're thinking about retirement, I guess people might expect me to be thinking of retiring. But at the same time, I look at the work that I'm doing, and the fun that I'm having – this is something that I can still continue to do for a long time. You know, possibly until I die.
Yet it's worth noting that the legendary games designer is also ensuring that a younger generation is ready to take up the reins once he does hang up his Mario hat.
One thing that's very important for me is to make sure that Nintendo as a company can continue to create products even if I'm not there. So one of the things that I continually say to my teams is 'Pretend like I'm not here. I'm not going help you'.
It's common knowledge, courtesy of Nintendo making the point regularly, that Miyamoto's role is very much as an overseer to the younger generation of developers, working with the teams to help them achieve better results. If he is in a position to work on a broad range of varied projects with talented teams, it's not surprising that he's enjoying his working life.
If his comments to Rolling Stone are to be believed, it looks like we'll be seeing Shigeru Miyamoto's name in the credits of the very best Nintendo games for years to come.