Over the past few days the internet has been abuzz with news that Shigeru Miyamoto, grandfather of gaming and magical man responsible for some of the most beloved gaming franchises in the world, is retiring his position at Nintendo of Japan and is stepping aside to focus his efforts on training new recruits. The articles state that his goals are to train senior employees to work without him (for the eventual days where he will no longer be a part of the Nintendo machine) and also to get his hands on smaller projects with fresh employees.
This caused quite the hullabaloo in the gaming world and fears for the direction of the company surfaced. Apparently the stocks for Nintendo dropped. Many more articles have emerged stating that Wired, the webpage that originally broke the story, mis-translated Miyamoto and that he's not retiring after all.
There's so much back and forth going on that it's making my head spin. I believe that if Miyamoto were "leaving" the company in any real and official fashion, that there'd be a large press event and some sort of rockin' good-bye party. There's simply no way that he'd slip out the door quietly! At the very least I'd hope that his beloved company would want to give him more pomp and circumstance than that.
In the same way that one can piece together the facts from hearing two sides of the story, my take on the situation is this: eventually Miyamoto will retire (duh) but that day is not today. He wants to work on smaller projects that don't take five plus years to make. He wants the senior employees to know what it's like to work without him so close by, and he wants younger, newer employees to have his guiding hand on a closer level so that they'll learn the ropes to create the kinds of games that will be loved for years to come.
Miyamoto has a legacy, and it's important to him that it lasts even after he parts ways with Nintendo. Someone will be taking his place one day, and the sooner he gets to training them the better!
Personally I'm excited to see what happens to the company from here on out. I know Miyamoto will still be there guiding everyone in the directions of fun, exciting and new. The franchises that I love will continue to flourish with creative minds working hard, while smaller titles will be given attention by Miyamoto himself.
Just imagine how many more amazing Nintendo titles there will be? We may end up with some new IPs!
You have my full support Miyamoto-san!