Nintendo can point to veteran designer Shigeru Miyamoto as one of its biggest assets, but the famed developer is getting older. In a 2011 interview with Wired, Miyamoto joked about retiring and admitted that he was stepping down to work on smaller titles with younger developers. He brought up the subject again in a 2013 interview with GameSpot, leading many to believe he was actually retiring.
Today, Miyamoto continues to oversee development of Nintendo titles, but he's also been moving into other forms of entertainment. Miyamoto is the guy that makes sure that other uses of Nintendo's IP - mobile titles, animated and live action films, merchandise, and the upcoming Universal theme parks - are all in line with the spirit of the company. In an interview with Glixel, Miyamoto talked about how his shift in responsibilities will affect the company in the transition to the Nintendo Switch.
"There was a misunderstanding around my supposed retirement. Really at the time what we were talking about was giving more opportunity and more leadership opportunity to younger people in the company. So rather than me leading everything we were really expanding that role out to others that had come up within the company. Somehow that got misinterpreted as the fact that I was retiring," Miyamoto told Glixel.
"We have these younger people in the company who are taking the lead on Switch development and it's really been them that have put this forward and designed this system. They're the ones that have really shepherded it through the process. Because of that, what it's allowed me to do is focus on other projects like Super Mario Run or the Universal theme park. I'm going to keep looking for these kinds of opportunities where I can do something new and fun."
Miyamoto also spoke of his time working with Apple on Super Mario Run. He portrays his time partnering with the hardware company as a meeting of like minds.
"Their focus is always on simplicity," Miyamoto explained. "Their focus is always on really taking the user into account, making it easy to use and then having an environment that's safe and secure that people can work and play in. They're the areas where Nintendo and Apple really see eye to eye."
"For Nintendo, we have a lot of kids that play our products. It was important for us to be able to offer Super Mario Run in a way that parents would feel assured that they could buy the game and give it to their kids without having to worry about future transactions. From early on, I thought that Apple would be a good partner so we could work on this new approach."