Experts say Miyamoto unlikely to be Iwata's successor


Takeda stands a better chance

It’s been little more than one week since Nintendo head and video game industry visionary Satoru Iwata unfortunately passed away. While many are still understandably mourning, others can’t help but look forward to predict what’s next for Nintendo.

GamesIndustry International is one such example. It contacted several industry analysts to get their takes on who might be appointed as Iwata’s successor. Nintendo has two representative directors remaining, Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto, who is the father of several iconic Nintendo series, is an obvious candidate, but the experts would be surprised if he took the helm of the giant platform-holder and publisher.

Nick Parker of Parker Consulting holds that opinion. “Although it would be a romantic dream to have the company led by the father of Mario, I think Takeda-san has more corporate experience and really understands hardware; it was he who argued for a new interface for the Wii rather than just a faster Gamecube with better graphics,” Parker said.

Dr. Serkan Toto, a mobile games industry analyst, feels similarly but thinks that Nintendo might opt for someone without the recognizable name. Dr. Toto commented “Iwata-san was apparently a very capable programmer and turned out to be a great leader overall. Nintendo is the most iconic game maker in the world that (at least in Japan) attracts the top talent in gaming; [it] might have people like him in the work force who could follow in Iwata’s foot steps.”

Yet another expert, Mike Schramm of Electronic Entertainment Design and Research believes Takeda is a prime option, but doesn’t discount the possibility of other board members. Schramm said “Takeda, who helped Punch-Out and StarTropics, was one of the main developers on the Wii, and has a similar trajectory in the company as Iwata. Takeda is likely a lead candidate for the job. Nintendo also has a number of executives on its board of directors who also could step up into the spot.”

The one thing that most everyone can agree upon is that Iwata’s successor will likely be an internal hire and probably won’t be from outside Japan. The appointment may not be imminent, as Nintendo will want to mull this one over given its enormity. The experts don’t think Nintendo has a particularly dire need for leadership right now even though it’s currently without a president. It’s in the position to treat this decision with the care it deserves.

Miyamoto unlikely to succeed Iwata, say analysts [GamesIndustry International]