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Nintendo Denies That Miyamoto Is Changing Roles

Nintendo Denies That Miyamoto Is Changing Roles

December 7, 2011 | By Kris Graft

[UPDATE: A spokesperson for Nintendo has now denied that Miyamoto is changing position at the company, stating that there has been "a misunderstanding."

"This is absolutely not true," the statement given to Reuters said. "There seems to have been a misunderstanding. He has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned." Nintendo shares had dropped 2 percent following the news.]

If there's one person who you could point to who has had the most influential hand in shaping the modern video game industry, that person very well could be Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto.

So when the 59-year-old game design icon makes any major career move, industry watchers are going to take notice.

On Wednesday, reported that Miyamoto, the creator of iconic game franchises like Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. would be stepping down from his current position at the company, where he is head of Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development.

But don't fret too much -- he'll still be with Nintendo. He just wants to get his hands dirty again.

"Inside our office, I've been recently declaring, 'I'm going to retire, I'm going to retire,'" said Miyamoto via an interpreter. "I'm not saying that I'm going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position."

"What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself," he added. "Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small."

Miyamoto said working to nurture young developers is important to the future of Nintendo -- he's going to have to go into full retirement sometime.

As a driving force behind Nintendo's games and hardware, even decades after he originally joined the company, the game designer has taken on a larger-than-life persona, making surprise appearances at game conventions with sword and shield in hand, and showing off new products in person, such as the successful Balance Board-based Wii Fit, a game he said was inspired by his weight scale at home.

"I'm interested in doing a variety of many other things," he told Wired, without divulging further details.

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