Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, one of the most popular executives in the video game industry, revealed in a heartfelt video that he will retire in April.
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
Fils-Aime, who represented Nintendo in major announcements and public events, became well-known as a friendly figure who looked like he really loved what he was doing. He joined Nintendo of America as executive VP of sales and marketing in 2003, then became its President and COO in 2006.
Unfortunately, it is time for him to say goodbye, with a bittersweet message that is filled with various video game puns.
“This is not ‘game over’ for me, but instead ‘leveling up’ to more time with my wife, family and friends,” Fils-Aime said.
Within minutes of his retirement announcement, Twitter was flooded with tweets of gratitude for Fils-Aime and the work that he has done not just for his company, but for the industry as a whole, including some messages from other executives.
Many of you know I am a huge fan of Nintendo (since a kid!). Over the last 15 years Reggie Fils-Aime has done a great job. I'm sad to see him retire, but also happy for him to spend more time with his family. Thank you for great entertainment. https://t.co/BJaHDdfSdx
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) February 21, 2019
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
Reggie, thanks for all the games and your leadership in our industry. We are a better and brighter place for your wisdom and efforts. With appreciation and best wishes from all your friends @PlayStation
— Shawn Layden (@ShawnLayden) February 22, 2019
There were also some messages from other figures in the video game industry, showing how well-loved Fils-Aime was among developers, journalists, and event creators.
Here's a picture of Reggie playing Super Meat Boy on Wii. He said "I'm buying this with my own Wii points, I'm serious guys". Pretty sure he ended up with it on WiiU and Switch. Happy retirement my dude! @NintendoAmerica pic.twitter.com/O3DaAc0WuY
— Team Meat (@SuperMeatBoy) February 21, 2019
Wow. Reggie has been synonymous with Nintendo for a good portion of my lifetime. He shepherded some of the most innovative and wonderful ways to play ever devised. We're going to miss him. Few have ever kicked ass, taken names, and played games with such authentic audacity. pic.twitter.com/FLOwc7cdr5
— Jared Petty (@pettycommajared) February 21, 2019
Can't believe I'm writing this: Reggie Fils-Aime is retiring from Nintendo. One of our industry's finest leaders and a dear friend. He's always believed in me. Thank you Reggie.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) February 21, 2019
Gamers across the world mourned Fils-Aime’s departure, while celebrating his achievements.
I am crying in my uber after watching this
My body wasn't ready
Reggie provided an absolutely immaculate sign off
See you later from one Nintendo fan to another pic.twitter.com/jpeDJTZCuW
— D1 #ComeToFrostbite (@xD1x) February 21, 2019
Reggie did everything right with his retirement.
There were no scandals/drama.
Stuck around for Ninty's darkest days.
Left on a high note.
Made a video of him directly coming forth to us about it.
He handed the keys to exactly the best person possible.
Smooth and heartfelt.
— Satomii???? (@KantoPancakes) February 23, 2019
Something it feels like we never talked about often was the fact that Reggie Fils-Aime was a rare black man leading a major gaming company. This came up briefly in an interview last year, when Walker was asking companies about how they handle crunch. https://t.co/bdSLhfio5N pic.twitter.com/7DbCWFqfdk
— PLDH (@PLDHnet) February 21, 2019
Fils-Aime will be succeeded by the company’s Senior VP of Sales & Marketing Doug Bowser, and the irony was not lost on anyone. For those who have been living under a rock, Bowser is the long-time rival of Mario, and it feels appropriate that Fils-Aime will be “handing over the controller” to an iconic name in the Nintendo universe.
Fans first picked up on the coincidence when Bowser joined Nintendo from Electronic Arts in 2015, and his pending promotion has revived the trend.
Welcome, President Bowser! ( we'll miss ya, Reggie ) pic.twitter.com/L3cDz55okX
— ⋆★✪ SMASHEGA ✪★⋆ (@ShinSmashega) February 21, 2019
Why is everyone shocked Bowser is now in charge of Nintendo America? Look how passionate he is about playing games with fans pic.twitter.com/UiVLHqxMlL
— Mica Burton (@MicaBurton) February 21, 2019
Nintendo is now being run by Doug Bowser, and he has wasted no time finally getting his revenge on to Mario and Luigi. pic.twitter.com/NFGB2EwXPF
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) February 21, 2019
As Fils-Aime retires and Bowser takes over, Nintendo will keep pushing forward as it takes advantage of its newfound success with the Nintendo Switch, which Fils-Aime had the pleasure of launching after going through the company’s struggles with the Nintendo Wii U.
In the latest Nintendo Direct, the company talked about upcoming games for the hybrid console, including the highly anticipated Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and revealed new titles such as Super Mario Maker 2, Tetris 99, Astral Chain, and a remake of the classic Game Boy adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.