In an interview with Wired magazine, legendary Nintendo stalwart Shigeru Miyamoto - the mastermind behind almost all of their biggest franchises - announced that he plans to retire from his current position within the company.
“Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, ‘I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire,’” Miyamoto said through his 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,” Miyamoto said. “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.”
He's hoping to start this next project next year, and be in a position to show it before 2012 is up - a stark contrast to the typically drawn-out project life-cycles at Nintendo.
“In other words, I’m not intending to start from things that require a five-year development time,” he said.
Shigeru Miyamoto is one of the most important people involved in videogames today; his contributions to the industry are the stuff of legend and to Nintendo, his work has been priceless.
His first major work for Nintendo was the seminal Donkey Kong, a game whose impact is still felt today, and a character (along with Jump Man, who became Mario) that is still relevant to modern gamers - more than a generation later. He went on to create Mario, Zelda, and most of the characters that still drive the multi-billion dollar company more than thirty years later.
It's the end of an era - and hopefully the beginning of a new one.