Shigeru Miyamoto, the man who helped to define the entire video game industry by creating games such as Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda for Nintendo, is moving into a new chapter of his career. In an interview with Wired, the 59 year old Miyamoto announced he was departing from his role as head of Nintendo’s game design department.
The good news is that he is not retiring from Nintendo nor is he leaving game development. As Miyamoto states, "What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself. Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small." He expects to start working on one of these smaller game projects in 2012.
Miyamoto started making arcade games for Nintendo in 1979. In 1981 he developed the classic arcade game Donkey Kong, which first introduced gamers and the world to Nintendo's flagship character Mario. He continued to develop games for Nintendo via the arcade and also for Nintendo's various console systems such as Excitebike, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Kart, Star Fox and many more. The latest game he helped to develop was The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword which was released for the Nintendo Wii in November.
Update - Nintendo is now saying that Miyamoto is not in fact stepping down from his current position at the company. A spokesperson is quoted as saying, "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."