Late yesterday, Wired ran an interview with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto in which the Super Mario and Zelda creator revealed -- through a translator -- that he'd be "retiring" from his development role on big games to focus more on smaller projects and on training younger, up-and-coming creative players. The exact quote, which set off an epic-level Internet crapstorm, read as follows:
"Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, 'I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire.' 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."
Unsurprisingly, Nintendo acted quickly to address Miyamoto's comments, issuing multiple statements which all roughly say the same thing. The gist being: Miyamoto's not retiring, and his role at Nintendo is not changing (even though it actually is, a little bit).
The first word out of the company on the matter came from Reuters Japan, via a Nintendo of Japan spokeswoman: "This is absolutely not true. There seems to have been a misunderstanding. [Miyamoto] has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned."
Another update followed from Bloomberg Japan less than an hour later, with a Nintendo rep telling the publication that Miyamoto will, in Bloomberg's words, "reduce his involvement in making video games to spend more time training younger developers." The spokesperson also confirmed that his title will continue to stand as Senior Managing Director.
The final update comes in the form of an official statement from Nintendo:
"Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto's role at Nintendo is not changing. He will continue to be a driving force in Nintendo's development efforts. In discussing his priorities at Nintendo in a media interview, Mr. Miyamoto explained how he is encouraging the younger developers at the company to take more initiative and responsibility for developing software. He attempted to convey his priorities moving forward, inclusive of overseeing all video game development and ensuring the quality of all products. Mr. Miyamoto also discussed his desire to pursue fresh ideas and experiences of the kind that sparked his initial interest in video games."
So there you have it. Miyamoto's title isn't changing, but it sounds like his day-to-day role in the office will be, at least somewhat. More power to him, I say. Genius stifles at being pigeon-holed; even if something was lost in the translation of his comments to Wired, it seems pretty clear that a shift in focus is something he craves.