reggie_fils-aime1

GoNintendo recently spoke to Zelda Williams, but that wasn’t their only guest of honor this week. They also had the opportunity to get a statement from Reggie Fils-Aime, Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America. Although this marks the 10th anniversary of Reggie’s time with Nintendo, his relationship with Nintendo started long before he was hired. If your body is ready, hit the jump to see what Reggie had to say about his fondness for Nintendo and why he loves the company so much.

To Reggie, Nintendo is so special because of the way it helped him connect with his children, from when they were young even to this current day. I can very much relate. I was six years old when I got A Link to the Past, much like Reggie’s son, and played for hours on end with my own father, much like Reggie did with his son. Reggie talks about the various games he has bonded with his children over, even before he was hired by Nintendo. There is one common theme in all of this, and that is that Nintendo brings families together. I know it did for my own family, and in this case, for Reggie as well.

This year marks my tenth anniversary at Nintendo, and people say, ‘Wow—you’ve been with Nintendo for a decade!’

Wrong—I’ve been ‘with’ them a lot longer than that. After all the money I’d spent over the years on Nintendo products, the least they could have done was hire me!

When my oldest son was six, we both played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, on separate files. One night, long after everyone else had gone to bed, I stayed up into the wee hours trying to figure out how to avoid all the flying Firebats and get the best of Ganon in that final battle. No luck—but I spent most of the next day at work figuring out my plan of attack. So I sped home, and rushed through the door…only to hear my son yelling with delight. Yep—he had opened my file and just finished off Ganon as I arrived. I think that moment defines the term ‘mixed emotions’.

So, fast forward a couple years and this time it’s my second son, at the ripe old age of four, screaming with joy as he finished the story mode in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. I snapped a picture, all grins and thumbs up—and sent it off to Nintendo Power. I mean, he was four—how could they not love this? Years later, when I got to Nintendo, I asked the Nintendo Power publisher … the same one that would have been there in the mid-nineties, if he knew why the picture never ran. For some odd reason, he didn’t remember it. Maybe it got lost in the mail.

Well, by the time my boys were older and we got deep into three-person multi-player on Goldeneye 007, I was just there for window dressing. All they really cared about was blasting each other. Of course, that gave me time to occasionally get the Golden Gun—and THAT was the thing that would finally get them to think about Dad.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I guess I should also mention that my daughter has also enjoyed her time schooling me on Mario Kart … everything from Double Dash to Mario Kart 7.

So, despite the incredible amount of hours I spent by myself in the old days with Final Fantasy II and Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana, I guess the biggest reason I love Nintendo is the same one a lot of people mention—the way it’s helped connect me with my family.

Happy holiday gaming everyone!

Nintendo has helped bring families together for nearly 30 years and still continues to do so to this day. They have shaped a generation of gamers and the gaming industry as a whole, making the industry into what it has become today. Regardless of what you may think of the direction Nintendo is heading in, they have always stayed true to their roots and have created content that entire families can enjoy. This is what distinguishes Nintendo from the likes of Microsoft and Sony and what makes them so special. They have a legacy of excellence and have done this for a very long time, and will hopefully continue to help connect families for many years to come.

Congratulations on a wonderful year Reggie and have a happy holiday season!

Source: GoNintendo
  • Jack Nick Olsen

    Nintendo speaks to Nintendoman about why he loves Nintendo.

    • No, GoNintendo spoke to Reggie. Not Nintendo. Nintendo is the company itself; GoNintendo is a fan-operated community that posts information, blogs, etc. That’s a pretty big difference, I’d say.

  • Despite his experience enjoying Nintendo games prior to his career with them… I still doubt his care for Nintendo fans.

    I’m still disappointed in how poorly NOA has been handled in recent years and most of the change occurred after Reggie became the COO of NOA.

    I’m sorry but Nintendo used to give out amazing pre-orders… Ocarina of Time Master Quest for Wind Waker… how amazing is that to get a free game for a pre-order. Or how about getting getting the Legend of Zelda Collectors Edition for registering games with Club Nintendo or renewing your Nintendo Power subscription.

    Since Reggie became the head of NOA, Nintendo Power (used to be run by NOA originally) was sold to Future Inc (who ultimately put the nail in the coffin)… Club Nintendo in NA now gets some of the lamest prizes of any of the regions… (shoe laces and face cloths? Come on… even Europe was getting statuettes)…. even worse NOA has stopped localizing in house games even.

    Xenoblade did make it (only after a deal was struck between NOA and Gamestop to help support costs) but two other titles co-developed by Nintendo, and published in Nintendo in both Japan and Europe, were ignored completely by NOA.

    Simply put, since Reggie became head of NOA, he’s been pinching pennies any where and everywhere, despite the Wii having been Nintendo most successful and profitable system. Fans have taken the back burner on his agenda, and that just grates on my nerves. Being a Nintendo fan in the other key regions arguably is better these days.

    Just look at the VC releases on the Wii U…. Europe has gotten MMX2 and A Link to the Past in the last 4 weeks… what have we gotten? Double Dragon, and Mystical Ninja. Alright titles… but come on.

    • chiilo87

      I respectfully disagree. I spent 2 hours with him, and he was genuinely interested in fan input, and listened to what myself and a few other fans had to say about what was and wasn’t working. I definitely disagree with a lot of things (especially losing Nintendo Power and lame Club gifts), but Reggie is a good man and I can’t imagine that running a company in this crap economy is anywhere near easy. I can tell BS when I see it, and he is definitely taking his role seriously. I’m optimistic about Nintendo’s future.

      • I’m not saying he’s not a good man, or that he isn’t a genuine about loving Nintendo.

        I’m saying that he isn’t good for the fans, or the loyal customers. Also the reality is that for a company that was doing nothing but thrive during economic down time (because despite the crap economy, NIntendo as a whole did nothing but make profit hand over hand over the last 6 years) they haven’t put much money into games as other divisions of Nintendo.

    • Morgan

      Reggie actually wanted Xenoblade to come over, it was just a matter of numbers. And Iwata is CEO, not Reggie. I think he does a fine job and is a great representative for Nintendo.

      • Clearly you missed the part where I actually properly called Reggie by his title as COO, not CEO.

        A COO may have to answer to the CEO, but overall most COO positions are created to run specific divisions of a company as they see fit.

        Iwata himself can’t run NOA, he doesn’t have the time to do the research, and figure out what games should be brought to North America. That is where Reggie steps in. Basically Reggie tells Iwata what games NOJ should bring to NOA.

        Basically what Reggie says goes for NOA. If Reggie says that a certain game wouldn’t sell well in North America, then Iwata will trust his word, and Nintendo won’t bother bringing that title to NA. Simple as that. Iwata isn’t going to do any back checking, he doesn’t have the time.

        Reggie himself has even said his stance;

        “”I’m paid to make sure that we’re driving the business forward – so
        we’re aware of what’s happening, but in the end we’ve got to do what’s
        best for the company.”

        Reggie’s first and foremost concern is business, and making profit. It’s not a bad stance to have since all companies want to profit, and a company needs such profit to continue thriving. Still in the video game industry, sometimes you have to start small before you can expect success.

        If you want to attract RPG players to your console, then you have to release RPG titles to your consoles… even if the first wave of titles don’t sell 300,000 units. Same goes for FPS titles, or any other genre. You have to give players a reason to buy your console before you can expect them to buy a game.

        This is my frustration. There is no balance. Also like I said Xenoblade was brought on a very limited scale, and again is a result of a deal with Gamestop. It wasn’t something NOA was willing to whole heartedly invest in.

        Meanwhile in Europe they actually foot the bill for the localization process (they take credit for the translation, the voice actors, everything… actually they also localized The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower too). I just find it funny that for whatever reason NOE took the risk to bring these games (and release them a year before we ever saw them in NA) despite Europe being one of the smaller markets for the Wii (30 million consoles versus America’s 45 million plus).

        • Morgan

          Reggie is part of a team, it’s not simply his word and that’s it. They have a team of analysts and whatnot. During his 10 years Nintendo has prospered withe the DS, Wii, and now the 3DS. You can’t really argue with Nintendo’s track record during his tenure imo.

          • And analysts are going to say the obvious…. these are the hot titles, these are the titles that will make us the most money, ect. ect. ect. Analysts are even worse for fans. Since they will put “making a profit” well before “keeping our main consumer base happy”.

            Also I can argue Reggie’s track record… the DS and the Wii were both released before Reggie was made COO 😛

            By the time Reggie stepped into such an authoritative role, the Wii and DS were practically selling themselves. He didn’t have to do a whole lot to keep that train rolling.

            Reggie was simply advertising and PR before being named COO of NOA. The DS and Wii were successful because Nintendo simply had two products that were unique from their competition.

            At the end of the day, it’s no coincidence that since Reggie has taken lead over NOA, there are fewer titles being localized, and fewer partnerships being made to get games into NA. Sometimes putting profit and business first, like I’ve been getting at this whole time, isn’t what is best for fans, and ultimately in the long run isn’t good for a company.

          • Morgan

            It is a business, and their goal is to make a profit. What a minority says shouldn’t dictate their business practices. They’re doing what is best for Nintendo as a whole and from a business standpoint you can’t disagree with that.

            I don’t know what year Reggie was made COO, but he has been in that position since the 3DS has come out and it’s the best selling console of the year and has sold like 35 million units worldwide and has put out some fantastic software. Would you ever think a title like Project X Zone would get localized? SMT IV was one of the first in the SMT proper series to get localized in NA.

            They need to do what makes sense from a business standpoint bottom line. I don’t hold this against Reggie. He’s been a great representative for Nintendo these past 10 years and the years he has been apart of the company have been some of the company’s most financially successful years in recent memory.

          • Project X Zone wasn’t localized by Nintendo…. it was localized by Capcom. That’s why it got localized……. you think we would’ve gotten the game if Nintendo had to foot the bill?

            SMT IV was also… not localized by Nintendo….. Atlus did that one (although props to Nintendo who published it in Taiwan/Korea though).

            So using those as examples is really irrelevant. Also not proof that Nintendo of America really cares about bringing games over to NA.

            Also these games were brought to the 3DS because it’s a successful system. For the most part games are flocking to the 3DS because it’s really all there is for portable gaming system. The Vita is floundering, and very few developers want to put their games on the system. no even a Persona game is going to be on the 3DS now.

            In either case, as a gamer, I just appreciate games. I think games matter. More so then how financially successful my company of choice is. Since as I’ve seen … the success of the Wii hasn’t led to me getting more games to play.

            The Wii has some great pieces of software that never made it to NA, and even then some that eventually did came literally 2 years after their initial release (a year after Europe) and that’s embarrassing.

          • Project X Zone wasn’t localized by Nintendo…. it was localized by Capcom. That’s why it got localized……. you think we would’ve gotten the game if Nintendo had to foot the bill?

            SMT IV was also… not localized by Nintendo….. Atlus did that one (although props to Nintendo who published it in Taiwan/Korea though).

            So using those as examples is really irrelevant. Also not proof that Nintendo of America really cares about bringing games over to NA.

            Also these games were brought to the 3DS because it’s a successful system. For the most part games are flocking to the 3DS because it’s really all there is for portable gaming system. The Vita is floundering, and very few developers want to put their games on the system. no even a Persona game is going to be on the 3DS now.

            In either case, as a gamer, I just appreciate games. I think games matter. More so then how financially successful my company of choice is. Since as I’ve seen … the success of the Wii hasn’t led to me getting more games to play.

            The Wii had some great pieces of software that never made it to NA, and even then some that eventually did came literally 2 years after their initial release (a year after Europe) and that’s embarrassing.

          • Melena

            I agree-I can’t imagine Reggie’s word is ALL that matters-you best believe there are large team meetings that go on when it comes to decision making.

          • Someone makes an executive decision at some point that’s what it comes down to.

            And of all people to make an executive decision it’s usually the head of a specific division.

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