For those that follow industry news or just tune into Nintendo's yearly E3 briefings, Reggie Fils-Aime has been a longtime figure in the gaming community. Today, he announced that he would be retiring from his role as Nintendo of America's president. He will officially be gone on April 15. Fils-Aime has also announced that his successor will be Doug Bowser. Yes, Nintendo's American operations will now be run by Bowser.
The soon-to-be former president of Nintendo has been at the helm for the past 15 years. During that time he became a meme multiple times over with lines like, "My name is Reggie. I’m about kickin’ ass, I’m about takin’ names, and we’re about makin’ games." These memes even penetrated the non-gaming world with memes from Fils-Aime's Wii Fit demonstration carrying forward the iconic line, "My body is ready." Even obscure lines like, "Here's a TV that looks like an apple," became memes in their own right within certain communities.
Reggie was the face of Nintendo in America for well over a decade, so it's natural for fans of the products Nintendo puts out to be sad at seeing news of his departure. To ease the transition, Reggie put out a video message through Nintendo's social media channels to all of the fans who have connected with him or identified with him over the years. The video makes it pretty clear that he felt very strongly about the Nintendo community. Here's hoping he enjoys retirement or finds something awesome to do with his time post-Nintendo.
Nintendo fans, Reggie has a message for all of you. Please take a look. pic.twitter.com/EAhaEl5oEJ— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 21, 2019
“Nintendo owns a part of my heart forever,” Fils-Aime said. “It’s a part that is filled with gratitude – for the incredibly talented people I’ve worked with, for the opportunity to represent such a wonderful brand, and most of all, to feel like a member of the world’s most positive and enduring gamer community. As I look forward to departing in both good health and good humor, this is not ‘game over’ for me, but instead ‘leveling up’ to more time with my wife, family and friends.”
So, who is this Doug Bowser, aside from an evil Koopa king in disguise? He has been working at Nintendo since 2015 after coming to the company from EA following a stint at Procter & Gamble. People might recognize him from the handful of times he's taken the stage during E3 for Switch related marketing pushes for titles like Super Mario Odyssey. Right now, Doug Bowser oversees Nintendo of America's sales and marketing department and has been one of the people within the company spearheading the console's growth as a haven for indie developers. His efforts have largely born fruit with the console topping it's holiday 2018 expectations , though the company's own analysts predict that the console will fall short of its 20 million shipment goal for 2019 by about 3 million units. It's a big challenge to branch out of the core console market with the Switch, but one that Bowser will be in an even better position to do when he becomes Nintendo of America's president on April 15.
“It has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America,” Bowser said. “And rest assured, we will continue to build on his work to evolve and expand our brand, furthering Nintendo’s global mission of creating smiles. There are millions more of those to come.”
It's the end of an era for Nintendo. Best of luck, Mr. Fils-Aime.
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