Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto may not be leaving Nintendo or the games industry entirely, but the news that he's soon to step down to a less prominent role on smaller games and with young developers has still sent a bit of a shock through the industry.
UPDATE - Phew! Nintendo has denied he's doing any sort of stepping down or retiring whatsoever. Still, it's always nice to pay tribute to the greats, so this shall stay!
Sure, you can argue, he hasn't had the hands-on role with the company he once had, and hasn't been at the helm of a hit title for a long time, but does that matter when you've got a track record as long and distinguished as Miyamoto's?
No, it does not.
So let's take a look at that track record. Partly to let it soak in just how damn important this man has been to Nintendo (and video games!) since the 1980s, but also because it's important to see how important he's been to nearly all of our favourite video game franchises.
Before we jump in, know that this isn't every game he's worked on. The nature of Nintendo's development structure means sorting the game's he has actually had a serious part in and those he's just made the odd creative decision on is tough. So we're sticking to the big ones.
Below you'll find games that Miyamoto had a serious hand in, either as the creator, director, co-director or as someone handling multiple responsibilities.
Donkey Kong (1981)
Mario Bros. (1983)
Super Mario Bros. (1985)
The Legend of Zelda (1986)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (1987)
Super Mario All-Stars (1993)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)
Super Mario World (1989)
Super Mario 64 (1996)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Pac-Man Vs. (2003)
The Legend of Zelda: Twlight Princess (2006)
Wii Music (2008)
Impressive. But it's not all. Here are games he's credited as just a designer on. Like I said above, it's hard with Nintendo gauging just how much input he had on these, but if he's been credited, then he's contributed!
PilotWings 64 (1996)
Super Mario Galaxy (2007)
Wii Fit (2007)
Still not done. Since he's a good man to have around the office as far as ideas on video games go, dozens of games over the years have credited him as a "producer" in one way or another, usually as a means of recognising an overall guidance or isolated (yet important) contribution he made.
Kid Icarus (1987)
The Legend of Zelda II (1987)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)
Super Mario Kart (1992)
Star Fox (1993)
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (1993)
Yoshi's Island (1995)
Mario Kart 64 (1996)
Super Smash Bros.(1999)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000)
Paper Mario (2001)
Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003)
Phew. Know what's even more impressive than that list? The fact they're not everything he's done at Nintendo. You can bet that if a major game has been published by Nintendo in the last twenty years, Shigeru Miyamoto has had at least some small part to do with it, even if that's advising or supervising the vaguest outlines of the title.
With news that he's soon to take a step back from his current role, it's easy to get a little sad, but come on! He's stepping back so he can get back into a more hands-on role with the company. If these are the games he comes up with when he's hands-on, then the more he's hands-on, the better.
(Top photo by Chris Pizzello | AP)