Following the passing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata on the weekend, discussion is now turning to as to who will lead the company as it branches out from its console business into mobile devices.Representative directors Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto remain at the company, with Nintendo not having announced an interim president.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that speculation centres on Miyamoto, the creator of franchises including Donkey Kong, Mario and Zelda.
Bloomberg has also noted that the focus has now fallen on Takeda and Miyamoto, who face the challenge of steering Nintendo through a difficult time in the rapidly evolving gaming market.
Earlier in the year, Nintendo announced that it is moving into smartphone gaming, partnering with Japanese mobile and online services company DeNa – a move that was welcomed by investors.
Under the partnership, Nintendo and DeNa will develop game apps for smart devices, with the two targeting the launch of an online membership service accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo systems towards the end of September in the fall of this year.
“The trajectory given Nintendo by Iwata isn’t likely to change,” Bloomberg reported Tomoaki Kawasaki, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co, as stating.
“The successor’s challenge will be to make the smartphone business a reality and create meaningful synergies with the new NX console.”
Tributes have flowed for Iwata since Nintendo announced his passing due to a bile duct growth, with fans and those within industry taking to social media following the news.
“I am truly surprised and saddened by this unexpected news,” Miyamoto said in a statement released to Eurogamer.
“The entire development team at Nintendo will remain committed to our development policy which Mr. Iwata and we have been constructing together and to yield the development results which Mr. Iwata would appreciate.”