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Mario creator Miyamoto retiring? Not a chance, Nintendo says

After a report surfaced in which Shigeru Miyamoto hinted that his future plans might not fit with his current job, the company says "he has no intention of stepping down."

Shigeru Miyamoto isn't stepping down from his current position at Nintendo, the company says.
Shigeru Miyamoto isn't stepping down from his current position at Nintendo, the company says. James Martin/CNET

Gaming legend Shigeru Miyamoto won't be leaving his current position at Nintendo anytime soon, the game company reassured fans and shareholders today.

"This is absolutely not true," a Nintendo spokeswoman said of a report claiming Miyamoto is retiring. "There seems to have been a misunderstanding. He has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned."

Talk of Miyamoto leaving his position as Nintendo development head arose yesterday after he told Wired in an interview that he has plans for the future that might not fit with his current job.

"Inside our office, I've been recently declaring, 'I'm going to retire, I'm going to retire,'" Miyamoto told Wired through an interpreter. "I'm not saying that I'm going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position."

Miyamoto told Wired that he says he's retiring to instill a sense of urgency in the younger developers who will one day handle their own game projects. Without such talk, he said, he "cannot nurture" his staff.

If there is gaming royalty, Miyamoto might just be king. Over the years, he has created some of the industry's most iconic franchises, including Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong.

Nintendo's swift response to Miyamoto's statement reflects the impact he has both on the company and its stock price. And after posting consistently disappointing quarters over the last year, the last thing Nintendo needs now is shareholders to think that the man who made the company a gaming giant is stepping down.

That said, it's clear that Miyamoto has his sights set on something fresh for the future, telling Wired that he would like to work "on a smaller project" with younger developers. He's also considering developing a game he can make on his own.