It really does feel like the end of an era after Nintendo of America's longtime president Reggie Fils-Aime announced today that he is retiring in April. The outpouring of thanks from Nintendo fans on social media has been great and many since the news broke.
Fils-Aime, alongside the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, served as the face of the company for a generation of gamers introduced to Nintendo during the GameCube and Wii eras. The Wii in particular ushered in a new age for Nintendo thanks to its tremendous sales, and Fils-Aime was Nintendo's American avatar through that seismic influx of players.
While the kneejerk reaction to the news that Fils-Aime would be retiring and replaced with a man whose last name is Bowser was jokes, things became sentimental fast after Fils-Aime published a video aimed at fans announcing his retirement.
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
Decided to make this little video to honor Reggie's time at Nintendo. pic.twitter.com/mHZ959aJxm— Masahiro Sakurai (@Nin_SmashBros) February 21, 2019
As we said in our tribute, Fils-Aime occupied a rare space among video game executives. He was someone who was able to sell games directly himself instead of being just another suit on the C-suite board. Fils-Aime starred in ridiculous skits for both Nintendo and online entertainment productions like Mega 64. He's launched as many memes as he's launched games, and not many gamers were ready when news of Fils-Aime's retirement came down.
Goodbye and thank you for everything, Reggie ! pic.twitter.com/LFCV1h46Ub— Zin Stardust (@ShyminStardust) February 21, 2019
Thank you, Reggie. For everything. pic.twitter.com/slLPdLVb6z— NoContextCaptainFalcon (@NoContextFalcon) February 21, 2019
Hands down my favorite moment from Reggie pic.twitter.com/bwGx6eKDgS— Oscar (@datonestarfox2) February 21, 2019
Industry leaders and veterans have also shared their best wishes for the outgoing Nintendo of America president. Fellow leaders like Phil Spencer and companies like WayForward have thanked Fils-Aime for his service.
All the best to Reggie Fils-Aime on the next phase of his life and career. Great leader, industry partner and friend.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) February 21, 2019
Today Reggie Fils-Aime announced his retirement from Nintendo. Reggie has a perfect attendance record at @thegameawards over the past 5 years. Reggie, on behalf of all gamers, thank you for all your efforts and congrats on an amazing run at Nintendo! pic.twitter.com/hmOmT5eoHm— The Game Awards (@thegameawards) February 21, 2019
This will always be true. We'll miss you, Reggie. https://t.co/N2zBwQDQlY— DOOM (@DOOM) February 21, 2019
Fan artists have also paid tribute to Fils-Aime with drawings and pictures, which seems like the perfect tribute for a president of Nintendo. Though of course, there's still a couple of Bowser jokes around too.
I'm gonna miss reggie )': pic.twitter.com/S3sEJXqtAR— Lizzy Dawson (@morehandclaps) February 21, 2019
Welcome, President Bowser! ( we'll miss ya, Reggie ) pic.twitter.com/L3cDz55okX—MASHEGA @ShinSmashega) February 21, 2019
While Fils-Aime's interviews were sometimes too faithful to the sales pitch, he's been noted for his candor and frankness with the press. Some gamers will remember Fils-Aime best as the first person of Haitian descent to run a major Fortune 500 company.
Black History lesson for you all. Reggie Fils-Aime was an American born to Haitian parents in NYC I never knew we had that in common The only one to lead a Fortune 500 company Thank you for making your countrymen proud Reggie You deserve the best in life Team Sak Passe pic.twitter.com/dACrAcr7OU— D1 (@xD1x) February 21, 2019
Although Fils-Aime will no longer be leading Nintendo's business in America, he leaves behind a legacy of enthusiasm and love for video games, and an outsized impact on a generation of Nintendo fans.