Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa has revealed that Super Mario Kart played a huge role in getting him to join the company earlier in his life.
Speaking to Nikkei, Furukawa spoke about his history with Nintendo and how he came to work for the Kyoto firm. He admits that, although he had a Super Famicom in the early '90s, he was more attracted to third-party titles rather than Nintendo's own – until a friend recommended a certain Mode 7 racing game:
It was actually a complete coincidence that I took the Nintendo employment entrance test. When I entered university in 1990, the Super Famicom was in its heyday. I had one too, but I was mostly interested in games from other companies like Nobunaga’s Ambition and baseball games like Super Batter Up. I didn’t really play many Nintendo games.
One day a younger student at my tennis club told me, ‘You have to play this, it’s a complete waste that you’re not playing it’. The game he recommended was 1992’s Super Mario Kart. It was the first time I had played a Nintendo game in a while, and it was so much fun! I remember feeling that ‘I guess this company is making great things after all.'
So I requested an apprenticeship through the application forms that I would sometimes see in job-seeking magazines. If I hadn’t played Mario Kart at that time I may have led a very different life.
Furukawa graduated from Waseda University's School of Political Science and Economics in 1994 and joined Nintendo in the same year. He worked as an accountant at Nintendo Europe for a decade before rising through the ranks to executive level. He was promoted to the General Manager of Corporate Planning Department in 2015, and then joined the Nintendo Board of Directors as the Managing Executive Officer of the Corporate Analysis & Administration Division in the following year.
On June 28th, 2018, he succeeded Tatsumi Kimishima as company president.
Huh, he's a bit older than I originally thought. Furukawa has this air of a young man in his 30s for some reason.
It's great that a student of finance applies to Nintendo because of Mario Kart. That certainly signifies a playful soul, even if he isn't a game developer like Iwata, or a factory worker turned law student turned ruthless business man like Yamauchi. ^^
How long did Tatsumi Kimishima lasted as president of Nintendo? It seems like he was only president for one year. All I heard is that he's Satoru Iwata's replacement but I never thought he was been replaced so soon that is unless he voluntarily resign due lack of leadership skills.
@Specter_of-the_OLED If I recall correctly Kimishima-san was a caretaker CEO and was never intended to be there a long time.
@Specter_of-the_OLED Kimishima stated at the time he took the reigns at Nintendo that his time as president was only temporary to give Nintendo ample time to search for a permanent replacement for Iwata. He did a fine job during that period in my opinion.
@EightyTwoStu @mereel I see that's good to know. I'm glad Nintendo didn't just put any random dude as the president of their company.
Mario Kart is a pathway to many abilities, some considered to be...unnatural.
Sep 2015 - June 2018
@Specter_of-the_OLED Kimishima was president gor close to 3 years and then retired.
@westman98 gosh, it really doesn't feel like that long ago.
Iwata's presence is still felt, almost a decade later.
Can't blame him.
I also can't blame anyone for feeling excited about Next Level Games developing the new Mario Strikers.
That announcement legitimately had me smiling ear to ear.
Really cool to see them achieve the style from the concept art with in-game shaders.
Tbh I kinda like him, he gives a trustworthy kinda vibes, the man clearly knows what he's doing.
@Specter_of-the_OLED if I'm not mistaken he was only doing it temporarily.
@Why_Do_I_Exist AND you have a revenge of the sith profile picture lmao
The bigger news to me is actually that he didn't consider Zelda or Super Mario as "great" games.
Nice story… but if there was a Mario kart that blew my mind, it was 64. Of all the amazing games on the SNES I found Super Mario Kart pretty far down the list. Definitely spent a lot more time on F-zero
@Specter_of-the_OLED He was basically just a stop gap after Iwata passed. He was just there until a replacement was named. He didn't implement anything he just followed what Iwata had already laid out.
@DarksunRyda He was around long enough to become a meme...
There’s nothing to dislike about Nintendo… except for the list of things we dislike about Nintendo lol
Unlike Iwata, he is a business oriented CEO. You can tell from the way things are managed at Nintendo, it's mostly ports from Wii U to Switch - he is trying to recuperate from the losses that Wii U was causing.
Iwata was a game developer and a gamer, so quality comes first. He probably over did it - so many good games for the Wii U that didn't sell.
I have great memories of me and my friends renting Nobunaga's Ambition on NES and trying to figure it out without an instruction manual.
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