As fun as that headline was to write, I was rather sad to hear the Reggie Fils-Aimé (57), the face and President of Nintendo of America, will be retiring. The news broke late last night and according to the Business Wire post, Fils-Aimé explained his decision as follows:
Nintendo owns a part of my heart forever, it’s a part that is filled with gratitude – for the incredibly talented people I’ve worked with, for the opportunity to represent such a wonderful brand, and most of all, to feel like a member of the world’s most positive and enduring gamer community. As I look forward to departing in both good health and good humour, this is not ‘game over’ for me, but instead ‘leveling up’ to more time with my wife, family and friends.
After joining Nintendo in December 2003 as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Fils-Aimé was the first American to be appointed as President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America replacing Tatsumi Kimishima. After some 13 years in this role and leading Nintendo’s American division through ups and downs (including the Wii, WiiU and recently the Switch) Reggie leaves some big shoes to fill; Both literally and figuratively. His confident, quirky and out-there “My Body is Ready!”-personality provided a stark contrast to Nintendo of America’s more conservative Japanese predecessors.
The official transition will happen in April 2019 and in a remarkable (and comically worrying) case of nominative determinism, Doug Bowser (NOA’s current Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing) will be handed the role.
Although his reasons for retiring seem both healthy and understandable, we’re sure many will miss the Regginator. It is great to hear how complimentary he is of his successor (particularly in the video above). And it will be exciting to see what the future brings. That being said, I can’t help but feel a little weird that Bowser will now be running Nintendo. Mario surely won’t be pleased.