Welcome to the latest entry of Nintendojo’s Industry Chatter, out weekly look at the buzz and rumors swirling around video gaming world. The last few days have been filled with a great deal of Nintendo talk that is in need of clarification and some extra rumor mongering.
First and foremost is the rumor of Mario creator/patron saint of game design’s Shigeru Miyamoto’s impending retirement from Nintendo. Rumors started due to an interview with Wired and quickly spread, shaking the industry to its core. However, that same interview also holds the answers that proves the speculation false. Miyamoto talks about how he jokingly mentions retirement to his staff as a sort of motivational tour. As influential as Miyamoto has been and continues to be, there is no denying that he is in the later part of his career and it will be up to his employees to carry the torch once he finally does call it quits.
Miyamoto has no plans to leave Wii U hanging
One aspect of this rumor does seem to hold some validity though. Rather than retire soon, Miyamoto expresses an interest to leave his position overseeing all internal development at Nintendo and move back into a more direct role, developing games with smaller teams of younger developers. Miyamoto doesn’t mention any particular time frame for such a transition, but he does believe that he has brought Nintendo’s game makers to a place where they can flourish without his direct supervision. Of course no information is given with regard to future projects and there are no immediate plans for Miyamoto to make such a career change, so as of right now it is business as usual for Nintendo.
Moving on to some quizzical speculation, one can’t help but wonder if Nintendo and major US game retailer Gamestop have been doing some major wheeling and dealing behind the scenes. The last couple of days have seen Nintendo unveil two major products as Gamestop exclusives; first is the long awaited North American release of Xenoblade and the second is the upcoming Circle Pad Pro attachment for Nintendo 3DS. Among these announcements, the fine folks at GoNintendo have cited an anonymous source claiming that Gamestop approached Nintendo about bringing Xenoblade to American gamers envious of the Japanese and European brethren and is even sharing in some of the cost of publishing the game. Furthermore, the companies are going to be gauging the success of the game to determine whether or not The Last Story, another acclaimed JRPG already available in its home market and bound for Europe, will be brought to North America.
Coming to a Gamestop near you … finally
Considering the rather exuberant outcry for Xenoblade to see an American release, it seems perfectly plausible a major retailer like Gamestop would see an opportunity to work with Nintendo in order to capitalize on this demand. It also makes sense for Nintendo as well, they have obviously been hesitant to bring such a core gamer experience to a demographic that has largely been down on Wii in recent history, but if Gamestop is throwing in financial support then that certainly helps mitigate some of risk. And then there is the question of the Circle Pad Pro, was this part of the deal or just coincidental timing of the announcements? Is the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship between the two companies?
I have no idea so let’s leave the speculation to others.
Be sure to swing in again next week for more of the news and rumors that keep game makers and players talking.