Super Mario Kart
Image: Nintendo

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.