Reggie Fils-Aime has announced that he will be retiring from his position as the President and COO of Nintendo of America as of April 15th. His replacement will be Doug Bowser, who is the Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing and probably isn't the Bowser from the Super Mario Bros. series in disguise
The departure of Reggie from Nintendo feels like the end of an era, especially after the passing of Satoru Iwata in 2015, and Shigeru Miyamoto saying he's entrusting the company to its younger developers. It feels as if the faces we have come to associate with Nintendo are slowly drifting away as the company enters the next phase of its existence. Reggie is definitely leaving on a high note, as the Nintendo Switch is doing incredibly well and is poised to challenge the domination of Sony during this console generation.
Reggie Fils-Aime has been one of the most recognizable faces at Nintendo for many years, yet there are many people who aren't aware of his accomplishments with the company.
Reggie Fils-Aime worked for several different companies in sales roles before making his way to Nintendo. He had worked for Procter & Gamble, Pizza Hut, Guinness, Panda Management, and VH1, with that last company being the most important, as he was responsible for increasing the popularity of the channel by shifting focus towards younger viewers, where it had previously been devoted to playing older music.
Joining Nintendo In A Sales Role
Reggie Fils-Aime joined Nintendo in 2003 as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He took on his current station in 2006, becoming the first American to become President and COO of Nintendo of America. It's worth noting that Reggie's successor took a similar route in his rise through the company.
Reggie entered the company at a difficult time, as the Nintendo GameCube was getting trounced in the market by the PlayStation 2 and things were looking bleak. It wouldn't take long for matters to improve at Nintendo, as the Nintendo Wii would go on to become a huge hit and the Nintendo DS became the second best-selling console of all time, all of which happened under the watch of Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwata.
Reggie At E3
Reggie Fils-Aime became the face of Nintendo management starting in 2004 when he appeared on stage at E3 and said in his best middle management voice - "My name is Reggie, I'm about kicking ass, I'm about taking names, and we're about making games."
E3 2004 was the event that brought Reggie to the attention of the gaming media. Reggie would go on to be a regular fixture at Nintendo's E3 conferences and would always prove to be entertaining, even if Nintendo had a bad lineup for that year.
Reggie would also make regular appearances during the Nintendo Direct events, which would increase after the passing of Satoru Iwata.
In many ways, Reggie Fils-Aime was the perfect representative of a video game company during the rise of the 24-hour online news cycle and the growing dominance of social media. Reggie toed the line between someone who you could take seriously when it came to discussing business and being someone who was goofy and could shill even the most bizarre of concepts that were made by Nintendo.
If Reggie Fils-Aime is remembered for anything, it will be the fact that he was so easily "memeable" (if there is such a word), which he embraced wholeheartedly and is what endeared him to so many people.
There are many powerful executives at companies like Microsoft and Sony whose names would be meaningless to the average gamer, but even those who didn't buy Nintendo products still knew who Reggie was, which made him the perfect brand ambassador.
Reggie Fils-Aime rose through the ranks of Nintendo at breakneck speed and ushered the company into the highly successful era of the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii. This isn't to say that it was all positive under Reggie's regime, as he was also there during the rocky first years of the Nintendo 3DS and throughout the failure of the Nintendo Wii U.
When people look back at Reggie's time at Nintendo and his influence on the direction of the company, they will say that he was there during the transition of gaming to new levels of mainstream success.
Reggie was a marketing genius.
While we might not know exactly what goes on behind closed doors at Nintendo, we do know that Reggie was a marketing genius. It could be easy to assume that Reggie and the team he fostered at NoA was responsible for the mainstream success of the Nintendo Wii. People who never bought a game console before - and may never again - picked up the system, and still keep it in their home to this day in order to play Wii Sports. The market kept shifting and the mobile phone became the domain of the casual gamer, which meant that Nintendo had to reverse course and market themselves to hardcore gamers once more, which are two roles that Reggie was able to excel at.
It's safe to say that Reggie is leaving on a high note, with the Nintendo Switch poised to do great things over the next few years, but future E3 conferences and the Nintendo Directs just won't be the same without the Regginator around.
He Never Gave Us Mother 3
You have two months left to prove us wrong Reggie. We believe in you.