As Reggie Fils-Aimé prepares to leave Nintendo, we take a quick look back at some of his more philosophical moments.
It is, of course, ridiculous to get to caught up in the cult of celebrity, especially when it comes fawning over the charms of senior corporate executives. We shouldn’t forget that Reggie Fils-Aimé’s primary job is to sell his company’s products, just as it is for EA’s Andrew Wilson, or PlayStation’s Shawn Layden. His loveable, endearing style is just part of how he does this.
That being said, you get the feeling that Fils-Aimé – unlike, say, Bobby Kotick – at least understands the appeal and cultural value of video games. He is a charismatic and canny marketer, but he also grasps how Nintendo’s products can bring families together through play, and also keep generations of old duffers (like me) young at heart.
When Fils-Aimé took to the stage at E3 2004 he made an instant impression with the famous introduction, “My name is Reggie. I’m about kickin’ ass, I’m about takin’ names, and we’re about makin’ games.” Over time his demeanour evolved, and he gradually matured into a slightly geeky, but also slightly cool uncle whose musings were almost poetic.
This was most evident in some of his famously oblique and philosophical Nintendo Directs appearances. In a world where other gaming execs are talking about custom cooling systems, Reggie musings on “verdant fields and viridian cities” were always welcome.
So here are a few of our favourite, chin-stroking sound-bites from the Reggienator.
E3 2015 – Nintendo Digital Event
Introducing Super Mario Maker, Reggie reflects on the impact of Nintendo’s most famous mascot.
“As anyone transforms, be it a person, or a company, it’s good to reflect on where you’ve been, to help guide where you go next. Over the past 30 years, more than a billion people around the world have played a Nintendo game. And most of them have played as gaming’s biggest star, Mario. From the music, to the costumes, to the characters, Super Mario isn’t just Nintendo’s mascot. There’s a little piece of him, and certainly memories of his adventures, inside all of us.”
E3 2014 – Nintendo E3 Digital Event
At E3 2014, Reggie recalls his days blowing the dust out of cartridges.
“Whenever I’m over in Japan, and lucky enough to see these new games, I’m reminded of the first video game I fell in love with. Super Mario World on my Super NES. I played it endlessly, finished with 99 lives, and I still have that cartridge. I bet you remember the first game you fell in love with, too. Those of us that play games know that there’s nothing quite like them in the world. And those of us that love Nintendo, know that no matter what’s going on in our lives, we can always rely on these games to deliver fun and great gameplay. Because, it’s Nintendo.”
“At the end of the end the day Nintendo game creators share one belief. That there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun.”
Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017
Our personal favourite. We’re not exactly sure what Reggie is talking on about as he introduces Super Mario Odyssey, but we love it. It’s certainly food for thought.
“The game is fun. The game is a battle. If it’s not fun, why bother? If it’s not a battle, where’s the fun? It’s a test that you pass, or a quest the you fail. A race against time. Fun and battle, always locked together. But the game is also something else. It’s a journey. A passport to new worlds. Maybe even an odyssey. A look, a feel, an exploration. Close your focus, and open your mind. Yes, the journey requires the right ticket, and that ticket, is Nintendo Switch. But in the end, it’s not just where you can take your game, it’s where your game can take you. So let’s go.”
And finally, a lovely farewell from Reggie’s goodbye message.
“Just as you understand that Nintendo always tries to put smiles on faces, well, let me tell you. You put thousands of smiles on mine.”
Head over to the official Nintendo YouTube channel for the complete Nintendo Direct archive. And enjoy your retirement, Reggie. We hope you’ve left NOA in safe claws.