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Reggie Fils-Aime Stepping Down As NOA President, Bowser To Succeed Him

by Donald Theriault - February 21, 2019, 12:02 pm PST
Total comments: 16 Source: Nintendo

A decade and a half of names taken and asses kicked.

There is about to be a change at the top of Nintendo of America.

Nintendo of America announced today that current president Reggie Fils-Aime will be retiring on April 15. Doug Bowser, Nintendo's current senior VP of sales and marketing, will succeed him in the role.

Reggie started with Nintendo as an Executive VP of Sales and Marketing in 2003, though his first major public appearance was at E3 2004 in which he promised to "kick ass and take names". He would later be promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer in 2006, and to CEO in 2015 following the passing of Satoru Iwata.

Doug Bowser joined Nintendo of America in 2015 as the Vice President of Sales, before ascending to his current position the next year. Prior to joining NoA, Bowser was a Vice President of Global Business Planning at Electronic Arts.

Fils-Aime shared a message shortly after NoA made the announcement, which you can see below:

Talkback

KITT 10KFebruary 21, 2019

Won't be the same without him.

LemonadeFebruary 21, 2019

This is very surprising. It will be weird not seeing him at E3 or in Directs anymore.

ShyGuyFebruary 21, 2019

Hail to the King!

broodwarsFebruary 21, 2019

Well, hopefully Bowser's speeches will be less slightly-condescending.

Honestly, I can't say I'll miss Reggie, as he's most associated with an era of Nintendo I just utterly loathe, and he's made some localization decisions in the past that were decidedly less-appealing than the other branches of Nintendo.  Occasionally, someone writes a good speech for him to read off in a Direct, and that person is presumably still around for Bowser so we probably won't see that big a difference from a PR standpoint.

Hopefully Bowser is willing to take more localization risks than Reggie did, especially with the rise of digital distribution.

dmdinesFebruary 21, 2019

Having only just heard his name, color me surprised at the great trust Nintendo is putting into someone named Bowser.

Spak-SpangFebruary 21, 2019

I never understood the love of Reggie.  He did have one or two great E3 presentations.

Broodwars hit it out of the park though. "Well, hopefully Bowser's speeches will be less slightly-condescending"

Reggie just spoke with that salesman pitch like I know what I am talking about and you don't.  I am sure he didn't mean to come across that way at all.  However, his marketing speech was horrible. 

EnnerFebruary 21, 2019

Quote from: Spak-Spang

I never understood the love of Reggie.  He did have one or two great E3 presentations.

In our brand-and-personality age, that's all you need to go a long way! Just showing you're an affable, loveable guy, especially compared to your peers.

I know he held the position of President of Nintendo of America, but aren't we in the dark with what exactly that executive entails? Especially with the alleged control-freak nature of Kyoto-based, Japan-based companies. Then again, we did get that infamous podcast that detailed that Nintendo of Europe paid for Xenoblade Chronicles' (Wii) localization, so going on that we can infer some amount of autonomy by Nintendo of America.

I will miss Reggie, the Nintendo personality and front man.

But if I have to think about all the possible executive decisions during his tenure, I can't say I'll miss Reggie, the President of Nintendo of America, all that much.

Shorty McNostrilFebruary 22, 2019

I honestly don't get his appeal.

As far as I'm concerned he's just another salesman in a suit reading off a prompter trying to persuade people to get excited about a product he has next to no interest in.  I don't see any zeal or enthusiasm from him, just feigned interest because that's what he's paid to do. He probably has about as much excitement for his Switch (assuming he has one) than he does for the pizzas he used to manage before.

Why don't we get people any more who genuinely love their craft and product?  People who sell their product with genuine passion? Of all the people that get up on the stage at E3, or host their own presentations the only real ones who genuinely seem to love their product are people like Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot.  He's the only one I can think of at the moment.  This is from someone who has next to no interest in Ubisoft's games (the only Ubisoft game I've bought in the last five years is Kingdom Battle) I still love watching him present because even in his limited english he has true excitement for his product and wants to share something he loves with the world. 

Instead, we just seem to get....Reggies. 

It's not that hard to figure out why there's such a response, everyone.  It's the same reason Gabe Newell had this beloved persona for so long - people inserting the personality they want into him via memes. Like Gaben, there's a businessman filling his role persona of Reggie, and then there's the online meme dumbassery persona of Reggie. 

I'm guessing maybe the larger games media community might have a positive association with him as well based on personal relationship building or experiences with him directly. 

I don't know much about his tenure beyond that, other than some bubbling over during the project rainfall stuff.  But you hear fairly often how supposedly Nintendo in Japan would often keep tight control of things, so it makes you wonder if his hands were tied at points. 

ShyGuyFebruary 22, 2019

y'all need to watch the latest Nintendo News Report video and hear KingNintendoFanboy talk about the nice thing he did for him.

Ian SaneFebruary 22, 2019

I feel old because I still see Reggie as the new guy and here he is retiring after 15 years.

I associate Reggie mostly with the Wii era which I consider Nintendo's creative low point.  Most of what I dislike about that era was completely out of NOA's control but one of the big things that was within Reggie's control was the localization of the Rainfall games.  I also remember on the DS debut Reggie said the game he was most impressed with was some Spider-man game that history has forgotten about.  That was the big red flag that indicated that this guy was not into videogames.  Picking the licenced IP game is like something my Dad would do.  That was very early into his career with Nintendo so he started on the wrong foot with me.

But he seems like a likable guy in person and I don't have any problem with how NOA is handling things now so I wasn't calling for his departure.  With fans he's as iconic as the Nintendo IP itself.  You didn't see someone like Howard Lincoln having this kind of fandom, but then internet memes weren't a thing during his NOA tenure.  Does Reggie inspire the memes because of his personality or because he was simply the face of NOA when internet memes took off as a thing?  We'll find out I guess.

Good luck to him and Nintendo is currently doing great both creatively and financially.  So he's leaving on a high note.

Spak-SpangFebruary 22, 2019

Quote from: Ian

I feel old because I still see Reggie as the new guy and here he is retiring after 15 years.

I associate Reggie mostly with the Wii era which I consider Nintendo's creative low point.  Most of what I dislike about that era was completely out of NOA's control but one of the big things that was within Reggie's control was the localization of the Rainfall games.  I also remember on the DS debut Reggie said the game he was most impressed with was some Spider-man game that history has forgotten about.  That was the big red flag that indicated that this guy was not into videogames.  Picking the licenced IP game is like something my Dad would do.  That was very early into his career with Nintendo so he started on the wrong foot with me.

But he seems like a likable guy in person and I don't have any problem with how NOA is handling things now so I wasn't calling for his departure.  With fans he's as iconic as the Nintendo IP itself.  You didn't see someone like Howard Lincoln having this kind of fandom, but then internet memes weren't a thing during his NOA tenure.  Does Reggie inspire the memes because of his personality or because he was simply the face of NOA when internet memes took off as a thing?  We'll find out I guess.

Good luck to him and Nintendo is currently doing great both creatively and financially.  So he's leaving on a high note.

Ian:  I remember buying the Spiderman game because I thought it might be special after getting the DS and was so disappointed.  I never finished the game because it was so bad, and it hurt 3rd party games in my mind.  It was such a dumb thing to say.  Then again, he could have truly enjoyed the game, it's not like the DS had a great launch lineup. 

nysailorscoutFebruary 25, 2019

What is this endless hatred for the Wii? It was a huge hit when it came out and it appealed to non-gamers as well as gamers. This is an accomplishment that has still never been replicated, all these years later. There were games like Wii Tennis and Wii Bowling that provided tons of multiplayer fun, along with exercise! And let's not forget Wii Fit. This is hardly a "creative low point" for Nintendo.

If Reggie Fils-Aime had anything to do with this success, more power to him! Of course, the Wii was not perfect. The amount of shovelware was obscene and the motion controls were great in a handful of games and then terrible in all the rest. But people had FUN with it! Not just gamers but regular people as well.

I am starting to get flashbacks of all the amazing times we had with the Nintendo Wii. There was one set up in our office and we would have Wii Tennis tournaments.

Thank you for your service, Reggie. BTW, I love my Nintendo Switch for local co-op multiplayer. We live in a good time.

Ian SaneFebruary 25, 2019

Quote from: nysailorscout

What is this endless hatred for the Wii? It was a huge hit when it came out and it appealed to non-gamers as well as gamers. This is an accomplishment that has still never been replicated, all these years later. There were games like Wii Tennis and Wii Bowling that provided tons of multiplayer fun, along with exercise! And let's not forget Wii Fit. This is hardly a "creative low point" for Nintendo.

I chose "creative" low point very specifically since I'm well aware of what a huge financial success it was.  But I did not like it and your points about shovelware and motion controls being terrible in most games is the exact reason why.  I don't even like motion controls when they're "good".  "Low point" is a relative term anyway.  Some point in Nintendo's history has to be their creative low point.  Some system of theirs has to be their worst.

broodwarsFebruary 25, 2019

I dislike the Wii because that was the era where Nintendo decided that 1-2 years was about as much effort as they could be bothered to put into the thing. It was the era of Nintendo taking AWAY options in their games to shoe-horn motion control in that never worked outside of the light gun games.

"Hey! Let's make this DKC game about pin-point platforming, and then let's force you to waggle the Wiimote to perform one of the most critical moves in the game in terms of timing!"

"Hey! Let's make a Metroid game you're required to play like an NES game...because."

**** like that was all over Nintendo's output in the Wii era, and because only Nintendo games sell on Nintendo consoles, that's what all the 3rd parties did, too.

In terms of Nintendo of America, though, by far the worst thing about the Wii era was Reggie's reluctance to localize games, both in a timely manner as well as localizing them at all. The Operation Rainfall games are the most well-known in that regard, but they weren't the only ones. We missed out on the Wii Fatal Frame 2 remake (as well as Fatal Frame 4, but no one got that game outside Japan) and Disaster: Day of Crisis, both games that were localized in Europe and could have just been released over here had Reggie given a damn. I had to import them and hack my Wii & Wii U to play them. 3rd parties got next to no support from Nintendo, too, outside a few notables.

If the Wii was awash in 1st party software, that would be one thing, but Nintendo of America basically abandoned the Wii after 2010, where it limped along until the Wii U came along in 2012 to give it a mercy killing (before it, itself, was abandoned a year later in favor of saving the 3DS).

The Wii era is one of complacency on the part of Nintendo, and I loathe it despite it introducing several things I wish Nintendo still did like the Virtual Console. I have an entire shelf of Wii games I can still enjoy today, but those were some bare-bones years when the casuals moved on (as they ALWAYS do) if you were a dedicated player.

Ian SaneFebruary 25, 2019

broodwars is reminding me of the most annoying part of NOA being stingy about localizing games during the Wii years - the system had huge droughts in its last few years.  Third party titles never sold as well as the first party stuff so third parties just generally abandoned the system for it's last two years so the Wii did this slow death march to the Wii U with months at a time going in between releases.  And while that was happening there were first party games that were already translated into English sitting on the shelf.  Isn't there some value in having SOME new product on the shelf particularly as you try to keep some momentum going into a new console generation?  Don't you feel some obligation to your userbase to have something new for them to play?  I understand that there is a cost in in translating a game but that work had already been done.  There is a cost in releasing a game but when the development has already been done does it honestly make more financial sense to release nothing at all?  Nothing will earn $0 every time.  It came across that NOA was not interested in games that didn't have widespread casual appeal and not being a casual gamer I interpreted that as them telling me, a lifetime customer, to buzz off.

Nintendo in general got their just-desserts with the Wii U's weak sales though.  Now they've got their act together with the Switch and things have deservingly turned around. :)

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