The Switch's success made Reggie Fils-Aimé's Nintendo retirement an 'easy' decision

Reggie Fils-Aimé opens up about his decision to retire from Nintendo following the Switch's success.

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With the wild and ongoing success of the Nintendo Switch, it’s weird to think that just over four years ago, Nintendo was in a bit of a rough spot. Coming off the disappointing results of the Wii U era, the Switch was a glimmering piece of hope for the future of Nintendo consoles. Interestingly enough, former President of Nintendo America Fils-Aimé says in a new interview that his decision to retire was made “easy” by the success of the Switch.

Reggie Fils-Aimé was featured in a special episode of Gamertag Radio where he spoke with host Danny Peña about a range of topics. During the discussion, the two talk about Reggie’s time at Nintendo, and his decision to retire.

“But no, it’s not a surprise, and candidly, knowing that it was going to be successful is what helped make my retirement decision easy because I knew the company was going to be in great shape for at least a few years.”

Reggie’s prediction turned out to be correct, as Nintendo has seen tremendous success in the years following the Switch’s launch. With record-setting system sales, the hybrid console is still a hot commodity every Holiday season. The Switch is also home to some of the best-selling games in recent Nintendo history, such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons. During his interview with Gamertag Radio, Reggie says that he knew the Switch would be a hit because it solved one of consumers’ biggest complaints about its predecessor - the ability to play anywhere.

Reggie Fils-Aimé's full interview with Gamertag Radio can be found on Danny Peña’s YouTube channel. For more on Nintendo, such as the company’s upcoming Direct, stick with us on Shacknews.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 16, 2021 12:40 PM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, The Switch's success made Reggie Fils-Aimé's Nintendo retirement an 'easy' decision

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      February 16, 2021 2:01 PM

      "knowing that it was going to be successful is what helped make my retirement decision easy because I knew the company was going to be in great shape for at least a few years"
      I am sure the money didn't hurt either.

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      February 16, 2021 2:06 PM

      Was the Switch predicted to be a hit? I remember the launch videos receiving mixed responses.

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        February 16, 2021 2:22 PM

        i think a lot of the "mixed responses" were due to the launch videos themselves with 20 somethings hipsters playing basketball on rooftops

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          February 16, 2021 2:28 PM

          I remember this post where sleepy was talking about taking his Switch to the bar and playing SF2 with folks and how basically it's exactly what the lifestyle footage from those commercials was talking about

          https://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=36969822#item_36969822

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          February 16, 2021 2:35 PM

          I think the stadium bit was excessive but they showed the dream I wanted of a Wii-U that didn't need a base station to play mobile. That sold it for me.

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            February 16, 2021 3:13 PM

            Even that was just riding on the e-sports trend and imagining themselves as part of that.

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        February 16, 2021 2:49 PM

        My memory is that it was rumored that it would be this hybrid handheld/console thing where you can dock the thing and when it came out people thought the thing in the videos looked interesting but lots of things look interesting in slickly produced videos and Nintendo was just coming off of their biggest dud ever with the Wii U. Their lean years with the N64 and to a lesser extent the GameCube were carried by their handhelds, and their Wii/DS years were gangbusters since the Wii was the biggest hit of that generation (at least as far as sales of consoles are concerned) and the DS basically printed money. Then the Wii U was a dud and mobile gaming shot the legs out from under the portable market with the 3DS selling like half the units of the DS (and the Vita on Sony's end was a non-starter).

        So basically: it looked cool, the videos were a little contrived but the console looked to be potentially interesting, it was just Nintendo's execution of the idea that was uncertain.

        My pre-launch clue that Nintendo might be doing something right this time was when Reggie appeared on some YouTuber's video debating him on the question of if Nintendo should even still be making hardware. The whole thing was scripting and used marketing speak and Reggie's sense of humor but the idea that they were even willing to address the elephant in the room (the Wii U's failure made people wish Nintendo would just pull a Sega and be a software developer so we could play Nintendo games without paying for the hardware) told me a lot about their confidence level this round.

        Also their NES Classic maneuver probably did more to boost consumer confidence than they imagined. They just envisioned a quickie project to make up for the lack of a winter console since the Switch wasn't coming out until March of the following year.

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        February 16, 2021 3:18 PM

        every hardware release starting with the n64 has had a mixed reception.

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        February 16, 2021 3:32 PM

        It wasn't. I predicted it would be the best console for indies and JRPGs (as well as first party Nintendo games) because of the Vita.

        I loaded up on NTDOY for $24.50 the day after the Japan presentation that everyone shit on. Cheapest its been since and it hit $82 today

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