In the wake of the passing of late President/CEO of Nintendo, Mr. Satoru Iwata, the company announced that two Representative Directors remain at the company. Both of whom have been with Nintendo for several decades each, they are Mr. Genyo Takeda and Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto. Most gamers are familiar with Miyamoto-san, but not many are nearly as familiar with Takeda-san.
Having been with Nintendo since 1972, Takeda-san is actually credited as Nintendo’s first-ever game designer, as he made an arcade game called EVR Race that released in 1975 (while Miyamoto-san was still in school, in fact). Takeda-san, born March 7, 1949, graduated in 1971 from Shizuoka Government University in Honshū, where he studied semi-conductors. After graduation, he answered a newspaper ad, was interviewed and eventually hired by Mr. Gunpei Yokoi. His work began with Nintendo as part of the Research & Development 2 (R&D2) team. Takeda-san quickly rose to General Manager of the fledgling R&D3 (now known as the Integrated Research Division) team after only a year with the company. Most of the duties for the team were the design of technical hardware and software development for arcades and later for the Famicom and NES. Occasionally, R&D3 did dabble in game development, notably creating the Punch-Out! and StarTropics franchises along with others. Takeda-san and his team were also credited with creating the ability to store data on their cartridges. This gave Miyamoto-san the ability to use this feature in the American and European versions of The Legend of Zelda. One other such invention that Takeda-san is credited with is the analog controller which was first used for the Nintendo 64 home console. In 2002, Takeda-san was promoted to Senior Management Director, while still holding the title of General Manager.
Takeda-san is a gentleman who has diligently worked to create some of the most memorable experiences in gaming history, especially for Nintendo fans. That work ethic has helped to elevate him over these past 43 years within Nintendo to be one of the Representative Directors to help lead the company until such time as a new CEO is named. As we continue to get acclimated to the new environment without Iwata-san, we need only look to the words of Takeda-san delivered in eulogy at Iwata-san’s funeral service.
In the face of your unbelievable passing it will surely take some time before we can emerge from this deep sorrow. Please know, however, that the seeds you have planted, and the plants that have sprouted will put forth small flowers as they bring smiles to the faces of people around the world, blossom into a grand flower bigger than even you, our leader, Iwata-san. Together with Miyamoto and others of our generation, we swear in our hearts that we will continue our efforts so that, someday, we can report and present to you the blossoming of these flowers. May you continuously watch over and guide us managers, our employees and your family.
Takeda-san is an extremely accomplished member of the leadership team, and he, along with Miyamoto-san, are sure to continue in Iwata-san’s vision for the future success of Nintendo. Though it is still sad to think of Iwata-san no longer leading the company, there is comfort in knowing such capable hands are at the helm to guide with the precision of creators of some of the most successful hardware and software of all time!
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!