We all know a day will rise, likely in our lifetimes, that Shigeru Miyamoto will no longer be with Nintendo making games. He will ride off into the sunset, forever enshrined in the halls of one of gaming’s greatest minds. However, that time is not now, so we will hold off on reflecting upon his stellar career. That being said, while Miyamoto has stated he has no timetable set for his retirement and his actual work load hasn’t gone down, he is trying to get Nintendo’s team leads and the younger developers to start thinking more freely on their own. Less Miyamoto, more influx of fresh ideas.
“This year I’m past 60; I’m going to be turning 61 this year. So for me to not be thinking about retirement would be strange. But in fact, the number of projects I’m involved in–and the volume of my work–hasn’t changed at all.”
“Instead, what we’re doing internally is, on the assumption that there may someday be a time when I’m no longer there, and in order for the company to prepare for that, what I’m doing is pretending like I’m not working on half the projects that I would normally be working on to try to get the younger staff to be more involved.”
“And this actually has nothing to do with any kind of retirement planning or anything of that sort, it’s really more of simply the fact that people have a tendency, certainly when you’re in an organizational structure, they have a tendency to always look to the person that gives them direction,” Miyamoto said. “And really, for a long time I’ve been thinking that we need to try to break that structure down so that the individual producers that I’m working with are really taking responsibility for the projects that they’re working on.”
Essentially, Miyamoto’s work load only appears on the surface to be less because he is allowing more team members to have their way. Still, he is just “pretending” he’s really not working on the projects when I am sure everyone knows he still is, even if it’s just an advisory role. Fact remains, Miyamoto wont be around forever and the change of the exact role he has with the company over the last year reflects that.