Nintendo denies Miyamoto quitting

Nintendo appears to have been caught on the hop with the news that games legend Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda is stepping down from his management role at the firm.

Miyamoto, who is general manager and head of development at Nintendo’s internal EAD studio, told Wired that while he was stepping down he would remain  to work on smaller games.

“Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, ‘I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire,'” Miyamoto said. “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.”

Nintendo’s share price took a bit of a battering on the news and was down two percent by the time that the game maker’s PR department heard of the interview. Miyamoto’s retirement appeared news to the Nintendo corridors of power. Perhaps they had their Walkmans on when he announced it.

Anyway, there must have been the sound of voiding bowels in the PR department, after all it’s pretty difficult to get around the fact that Miyamoto clearly announced the was retiring from his current position.

Nintendo’s finest spinners did have a stab at it anyway. In an official statement to Metro, Nintendo said Miyamoto’s role is not changing and he will continue to be a driving force in Nintendo’s development efforts. All Miyamoto explained is how he’s encouraging the younger developers at the company to take more initiative and responsibility for developing software.

So where did the word retirement come from? It seems pretty clear to us that Miyamoto has had enough of being a manager and wants to get back into game development.

He said that he would ‘probably’ work on a smaller project with younger developers. Or, he told Wired, he might be interested in making something that he can make himself. “Something really small,” Miyamoto said.  We guess he means an origami swan. They are pretty small.

The other quote which makes Nintendo look silly is that Miyamoto declared that unless he said he was retiring he wouldn’t be able to nurture younger developers.

“If I’m there in my position as it is, then there’s always kind of a relationship,” Miyamoto said to Wired. “And the young guys are always kind of in a situation where they have to listen to my ideas. But I need some people who are growing up much more than today.”

Sounds pretty clear to us.