Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aimé, who'd served as the company's stateside chief operating officer for several years having initially joined as executive VP of sales and marketing in 2003, has announced his retirement at the age of 57.
The popular figure, a mainstay of Nintendo presentations through the GameCube, Wii, (3)DS, Wii U and Switch years, immediately endeared himself to the gaming public in 2004 by proclaiming, at that year's E3: "My name is Reggie. I'm about kickin' ass, I'm about takin' names, and *we're* about makin' games."
Nintendo of America's Twitter account broke the news last night (well, last night UK time - it was after we'd gone to bed, hence the post this morning). You can watch the video below.
Fils-Aimé has been with Nintendo through some truly testing times for the company, and helped to drive it back to the forefront of the culture, and into massive profits, with the launch of the Switch in 2017 - a console that continues to hit commercial highs. He steps down on 15 April to spend more time with family and friends.
The most perfect aspect of this retirement, though, is who Fils-Aimé is handing his role over to: none other than a certain Doug Bowser. Yep, you read that right. The next COO at Nintendo of America is a man who shares his name with Mario's most famous adversary. That's... that's just so Nintendo, isn't it?
Reggie Fils-Aime and Mario
Bowser is currently the senior VP of sales and marketing at Nintendo of America. Fils-Aimé describes him as "a passionate and powerful leader" who, as a kid, "probably spent too much time in front of Donkey Kong".
When Bowser became NoA's senior VP of sales and marketing in 2015, he was pictured holding up a welcome message in front of Mario and Luigi plushies taped together, in some sort of soft-toy hostage situation.
We'll all get to see a lot more of Bowser in future Nintendo Directs, I'm sure - soft toys, optional. Fils-Aimé signs off his retirement video by saying that working for the company has been one of the "signature experiences of his life", and that while he leaves Nintendo as an employee, he'll always be a Nintendo fan.
Really recognisable figures - and dare we say it, celebrities - are a rare breed in the games industry. For every Hideo Kojima, Shigeru Miyamoto, Yves Guillemot and Fils-Aimé, there are thousands of mostly unknown developers, marketeers, artists, managers, technicians and more, working tirelessly to bring us The Best Games (and, sure, a few naff ones too). It's obviously a significant moment in the industry's history, this - but will you miss seeing Reggie's smiling face, introducing you to the next wave of Nintendo games? Let us know - we're on Twitter and Facebook.
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo of America