Speaking with investors, Iwata discussed last year’s Miyamoto retirement headlines and said that it is the pair’s intention to encourage younger developers to take more responsibility for their work.
Iwata said: “During one of the interviews he accepted abroad, Mr. Miyamoto commented that he always tells his subordinates that he’s going to retire soon, in order to nurture the young developers. Mr. Miyamoto’s intention in making these remarks is to change the developers’ mindset because they will continue to believe that “this is Mr. Miyamoto’s responsibility, not ours” unless he encourages them to envision the workplace without him. Unfortunately, the article was reported as if Mr. Miyamoto had made his retirement announcement.
“Follow-up articles were created one after another on the Internet. Before we knew it, articles containing completely different messages from Mr. Miyamoto’s original message were circulated, which once again reminded us how scary the Internet can be.”
Iwata then told investors how things currently work at Nintendo. “There are two big development divisions at Nintendo, and I am supervising one, and Mr. Miyamoto is doing so in the other. We are encouraging active communication between the two. We are actively doing so and observing what happens if we assign particular work to people who have never done such work before.
“So far, we have observed more solid results than originally anticipated. In the future, we may be able to disclose, “as the result of this endeavor, we are now able to make this happen.”
Iwata believes the future is bright for Nintendo. “Of course, no single person can replace Mr. Miyamoto instantaneously. They are living in a different age from Mr. Miyamoto and their experiences are different from Mr. Miyamoto’s. On the other hand, there have been many people who have observed how Mr. Miyamoto works, have worked with him or have been left in situations where they have to take on more significant responsibility without being allowed to be dependent upon Mr. Miyamoto.
He added: “Those who have been close to Mr. Miyamoto have been making developments with the world as their target, and they have been coming up with a number of products. Because there are a number of people who have gained a significant amount of experience, I am confident that people are growing. Even for the development fields that required Mr. Miyamoto’s involvement in the past, the situation is changing.
“Of course, there are the areas that we have to say, “Mr. Miyamoto’s involvement certainly makes a difference here.” However, when we look at the culture and know-how held as a group, not just one particular person at any given time, the situation has significantly changed over the past 10 years. Please take this as a remark from an individual who has been watching Mr. Miyamoto.”