All journeys come to an end, and after 15 years at Nintendo of America, longtime president Reggie Fils-Aimé has expressed his intention to retire.
Officially stepping down on April 15, 2019, he will be succeeded by marketing man Doug Bowser (yes, you read that right), who certainly has big shoes to fill. As one of Nintendo’s main public faces, the former is considered to be on equal publicity standing as famed Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, and the late president Satoru Iwata, often taking to the stage to deliver energetic live presentations.
Nintendo fans, Reggie has a message for all of you. Please take a look. pic.twitter.com/EAhaEl5oEJ
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 21, 2019
One of his more memorable career highlights was during E3 2004, where he made the following iconic declaration, “My name is Reggie. I’m about kickin’ ass, I’m about takin’ names, and we’re about makin’ games.” Then the executive vice president of sales and marketing, he was promoted to COO and president two years later, and has led the company since. It’s been more than a decade-long ride, and as Fils-Aimé’s chapter comes to a close, he expresses his gratitude to the team:
“Nintendo owns a part of my heart forever. It’s a part that is filled with gratitude – for the incredibly talented people I’ve worked with, for the opportunity to represent such a wonderful brand, and most of all, to feel like a member of the world’s most positive and enduring gamer community. As I look forward to departing in both good health and good humor, this is not ‘game over’ for me, but instead ‘leveling up’ to more time with my wife, family and friends.”
Fils-Aimé isn’t only the gamer celebrity here, however. As news about his successor broke out, the internet immediately latched onto the shared ‘Bowser’ name, spawning plenty of jokes comparing the next-in-line and Mario’s arch-nemesis. It’s all pretty entertaining, really.
This is the first photo of Doug Bowser when he joined Nintendo
We never getting a new Mario game ever again pic.twitter.com/thv6o9opvf
— Nibel (@Nibellion) February 21, 2019
Bowser on his first day as president of Nintendo of America pic.twitter.com/hGrvNSMOna
— MASHABLE, PAY ME ROYALTIES (@rhiwion) February 21, 2019
Why is everyone shocked Bowser is now in charge of Nintendo America? Look how passionate he is about playing games with fans pic.twitter.com/UiVLHqxMlL
— Mica Burton (@MicaBurton) February 21, 2019
a guy named bowser is gonna be the new president of nintendo. prepare to hear the same joke 1,000 times pic.twitter.com/hYYNo1aIj3
— Olive Rae Brinker (@olivebrinker) February 21, 2019
The best comment is probably Kotaku’s Jason Schreier’s witty dig at Activision:
Just wait until we hear about Activision's next president, Steve Lootbox
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) February 21, 2019
Fortunately, Bowser himself is a good sport about it, often poking fun at his name, and taking on the title of “The Real Bowser” online. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s not taking his job seriously, and instead shows firm resolve in achieving even loftier goals with his team:
“It has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America,” Bowser said. “And rest assured, we will continue to build on his work to evolve and expand our brand, furthering Nintendo’s global mission of creating smiles. There are millions more of those to come.”
Happy retirement, Fils-Aimé!