By Grant Stoner | the Duquesne Duke
Early last week, Nintendo unveiled the name of its next president, Tatsumi Kimishima, after the untimely passing of former President and CEO Satoru Iwata.
Prior to Iwata’s death, video gaming giant Nintendo had announced that a new console would be available to consumers within the next year, as well as a shift toward a larger presence in the mobile market. The new console comes when Nintendo’s previous console, the Wii U, has only been on the market for three years.
The 65-year-old Kimishima is no stranger to Nintendo and its policies. In 2000, Kimishima was appointed as Chief financial officer for The Pokemon Company, where he remained until 2002. Following that position, Kimishima held the presidency, CEO and chairmanship of Nintendo of America until he was replaced in 2006 by current Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime.
Along with the election of a new president, Nintendo also revealed that they will be adding two new positions to their management teams.
Legendary video game creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, developer of franchises such as “Super Mario Bros.” and “The Legend of Zelda,” has been given the title of creative fellow. Joining Miyamoto as a fellow is hardware developer Genyo Takeda. Takeda will now be Nintendo’s technology fellow.
“[A]n individual selected from among the Representative Directors who has advanced knowledge and extensive experience, and holds the role of providing advice and guidance regarding organizational operations in a specialized area,” Nintendo said in a statement, describing the fellowship positions and their roles.
It is unknown at this time if Miyamoto or Takeda will be active participants of future projects or if they will only act as supervisors for future projects.
Despite Kimishima’s nearly 20 years of experience, fans will no doubt wonder if he will hold the same public appearance as Iwata. Iwata’s jovial personality was often the hallmark of many Nintendo presentations. During various press conferences and Nintendo Directs, Iwata was notorious for passionately revealing numerous new projects to many eager fans.
It is also unclear as to whether or not the new positions adopted by Nintendo will have a positive effect on their financial status. For roughly four years, Nintendo suffered a loss of profits, largely due to the poor sales of the WiiU. However, Nintendo reported that at the end of the current fiscal year the company received an annual profit of $350 million. Only time will tell if the new president will be able to maintain an increase in their profit margins in the face of tough competition from Sony’s Playstation 4, which currently dominates sales on the video game console market.
For many gamers, Nintendo has been a household name for years. While it is no doubt that Iwata’s death is tragic, perhaps the introduction of new personnel will revitalize the company. As gaming evolves, both through new competitors and exciting ideas, many players will be looking toward Nintendo for innovative hardware and games. After all, the company was the first to use motion controls for a major console, the Wii, an idea which was replicated by the Xbox Kinect and the Sony Move.
There is no doubt that Kimishima will have a daunting task before him. Whether or not Kimishima’s ideas for the future of Nintendo will be beneficial remains to be seen. Of course, gamers from across the world wish him nothing but the best of luck. After all, he has quite the legacy to live up to.