Reggie Fils-Aime, renowned president of Nintendo of America, announces retirement


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Reggie Fils-Aime at Nintendo’s E3 presentation in 2009. 

Chase Johnston

Reggie Fils-Aime, beloved president of Nintendo of America, has retired after 15 years with the company.

Announced by Nintendo of America in a tweet on Feb. 21, the 15-year employee of Nintendo of America, 13 of those years acting as president of the company, is planning to retire April 15. His position will be inherited by Doug Bowser, who joined Nintendo of America in 2015 as vice president of sales and marketing.

In the tweet, Fils-Aime spoke directly to the camera, letting his fans know exactly why he was retiring. In this video tweet, Fils-Aime assures his fans he is leaving in good health and plans on spending more time with his wife, family and friends.

“In April, I’ll be dropping the title that’s meant so much to me: president of Nintendo of America. But I’ll retain one that means even more: Nintendo Fan,” Fils-Aime said.

The former president became a Nintendo icon back at E3 2004 when he introduced himself saying, “My name is Reggie, I’m about kickin’ ass, I’m about takin’ names and we’re about makin’ games.”

Fils-Aime directly responded to the criticisms against Nintendo that they “need to grow up” and that they need to make more mature games to keep up with the industry by calling out the competition, Playstation and Xbox, unveiling the Nintendo DS and presented the trailer for the company’s first “mature” “Legend of Zelda” game.

All of this pushed Fils-Aime into the spotlight as a model of what Nintendo should be and the company began to evolve accordingly. In the following years, he’s continued his iconic presence as the president of Nintendo of America, taking part in fun promotional videos. In these videos, he’s been transformed into a puppet, showed off dance moves at a board meeting, starred in a training montage, debuted as a “Super Smash Bros” fighter and made an appearance as the “Reggie Fils-A-Mech.”

Nintendo’s company identity for the last decade and a half is due in part to Fils-Aime’s visionary public tactics.

“He’s pretty much represented everything that Nintendo embodies, so, he represents the fun and innovation that the company strives for, as well as, he also relates to the consumers as well where basically anyone can be a Nintendo fan and anyone can have fun playing the games,” said Thomas Hagenow, the public relations chair of the Game Renegades Club at Iowa State.

Hagenow explained how it’s a very bittersweet feeling that Fils-Aime is leaving Nintendo, but “it’s good that he’s moving on and making progress with his life.” While saddened by the retirement of Fils-Aime, he is hopeful for the company’s future under its new president.

“When [President Bowser] was first introduced, I remember seeing a picture of him with like a little ‘Thanks for the welcome’ sign and he had a little Mario and Luigi plush tied up with a GameCube controller, so I believe that he’s also a different person, but he will be able to continue with the embodiments that Reggie has been able to provide,” Hagenow said.

Hagenow stressed that he does not think this switch in presidents will have any effect on the games that Nintendo produces.

“I think as long as [Bowser] keeps up with what Reggie has done—even at a fraction—he would be able to do a great job with keeping people involved in the franchise and keeping it enjoyable,” Hagenow said.