When George Lucas decided to cash in during his retirement and sell the rights to Lucas Films and the Star Wars dynasty to Disney, many fans either looked dumbfounded, sad, or downright angry. The fact that he handed over a classic science fiction historical saga to the world of rainbows, princesses, a flying elephant with big ears and a mouse led many to fear that everything good about Star Wars was gone. Nintendo’s own “George Lucas,” otherwise known as the grandfather of gaming (or Miyamoto for short), is slowly prepping his apprentices for his retirement. The iconic father of Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Metroid and countless other franchises has decided that since he will be turning 61 its time to hand over the reigns to the younger “padawans” at the Big N.
In an interview with GameSpot Miyamoto said that the volume of his work is as high as it usually is and has not changed. He stressed that the key for him right now is to pretend like he is not working on as many projects that he currently is in order to help prepare the younger staff to pick up the slack, therefore making it easier for them to get things done when he fully retires. Many companies and sports teams often times find themselves lost without a leader that knows their strengths and weaknesses and how to attack those or magnify them in just the right way so that the team players get energized and excited about finishing the race and reaching their goal. Miyamoto may very well be a sort of cornerstone for Nintendo or even their “brand” as most of their hottest selling first party titles have come straight from his excellent and creative mind. Whether or not Mario will remain super, Link will go on another quest, or Samus will don her bounty hunter armor will lie upon the shoulders of those under his tutelage.
Miyamoto said that backing up and doing a lot less of his own work isn’t necessarily all about his retiring but rather,
“…really more of simply the fact that people have a tendency, certainly when you’re in an organizational structure, they have a tendency to always look to the person that gives them direction. And really, for a long time I’ve been thinking that we need to try to break that structure down so that the individual producers that I’m working with are really taking responsibility for the projects that they’re working on.”
If this plan works, then while he is gone, those left with the skills they were taught from him will continue to carry the torch and keep Mario and the gang together for years to come.