In an interview with Wired set to be published next week, Shigeru Miyamoto has publicly announced his plan to withdraw from his current position as the head of video game development for Nintendo. Fear not, his magical brain won't be leaving Nintendo completely, just his current job. He expressed a desire to work with different development teams and their projects rather than the Nintendo flagship games he has been heading in recent years.
"What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself," Miyamoto said. "Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small."
"In other words, I'm not intending to start from things that require a five-year development time," he said.
According to Miyamoto, he spent time training and cultivating new creative teams for the company in the last few years. Now that he's satisfied with their work (and so is everyone else with the way Skyward Sword and Super Mario 3D Land have been received), he feels confident moving away from those developers and working on his own ideas instead.
What this means for Nintendo and how long they have been anticipating this move, however, remains unclear. While 3DS sales have increased due to price cuts and a slowly growing stable of quality first-party games, a slow start for 2011 along with the meteoric rise in iOS and Android gaming shook the company in an unprecedented way. With the quintessential figurehead for developers taking a smaller role, consumer confidence could be volatile. Of course, anyone saying "Whelp, Nintendo's done" is just being a jerkface, but 2012 just keeps getting more and more exciting.
UPDATE: According to a Nintendo spokesperson speaking to Reuters, yesterday's reveal of the figurehead taking a different role within the company was a misunderstanding.
"This is absolutely not true," said a spokeswoman for Nintendo. "There seems to have been a misunderstanding. He has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned."
This comes after Nintendo's stock fell 2% since the original story broke. No word yet from Miyamoto as to whether or not his intent to resign as the Senior Managing Director and General Manager of Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis and Development Division stands. You may continue anxiously clutching your copies of Skyward Sword now.