Reggie Reflects On His Friendship With Satoru Iwata During His Time As NOA President

Reggie Reflects On His Friendship With Satoru Iwata During His Time As NOA President

Recently, GameDaily.Biz published an interview with former Nintendo Of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé, where he spoke about his time at Nintendo and the legacy he left behind.

During the interview, Reggie shared a little bit more about his first conversation and subsequent friendship with Nintendo worldwide president Satoru Iwata. Back when Reggie was first offered to role as NOA’s President, he had first asked to speak with Iwata before making a decision.

“When I was being recruited for the opportunity to join Nintendo, I asked as part of the process to speak with Mr. Iwata. It was not going to be part of the process and as I learned later, it actually was a bit of a disruption in the process. Imagine from Nintendo’s perspective, ‘Who’s this candidate thinking that he can spend time with our global president. This is not a role that is going to be based in Japan. Why does he want to talk with him?’ I mean, you can imagine the types of conversations that must have been happening. But in the end they agreed for me to speak with Mr. Iwata before I would decide whether to accept the role.”

Despite the unplanned nature of the discussion, it was this initial conversation that would lay the foundation for the strong relationship both Reggie and Iwata would have in the years that followed.

It was set up to be a half-hour conversation and it ended up running much longer than that. And it really sets the stage for the type of business and personal relationship we would have. We would talk all the time. He was gracious in sharing his perspective. He was tremendously accommodating in hearing a unique point of view from me, a person who had no history in the video game business other than as a player. But [he valued] my perspective because I brought a consumer sensibility. I brought a Western business sensibility. And the relationship that he and I had for almost 11 years, it was truly special and just, his openness with me and the things that we were able to do truly together, were just magical.”

Reggie also shared a bit more about how Iwata’s passing affected him, and led him to think about what he wanted to accomplish before he left.

“It just reinforces how fleeting our existence is. It also reinforced for me the legacy that he had built, and he had created for the company. And that really drove me to be introspective around, ‘So what’s the legacy that I want to build, that I want to leave? So I would say that event certainly crystallized for me the importance and motivated me to be clear and intentional in what I wanted to do.”

These are of course only some short excerpts from the full interview, which contains a lot more insights about Reggie’s time with Nintendo as well as his current goals following retirement from his position at NOA. If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, the full interview can be found here.

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