In this interview with MinnMax's Ben Hanson, the former President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé talks about his new book Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo and some of the challenges he encountered within the organization. He explains why he's not interested in surfacing more Nintendo history, what it's like working with Shigeru Miyamoto, shares some thoughts on the Wii U messaging, and then talks about his time on the board of GameStop and why he was so frustrated by the company's current leadership. This interview was recorded before the recent layoffs at GameStop and Game Informer.
00:00:00 - Intro
00:01:10 - Reggie Fils-Aimé on Disrupting the Game's reception
00:03:36 - Why Reggie doesn't want to surface more Nintendo history
00:07:27 - His crash course on Nintendo's internal challenges
00:10:24 - The relationship between Nintendo of America and Kyoto
00:13:06 - The power of Nintendo's management committee
00:17:13 - The importance of having the final say on marketing
00:20:07 - Why isn't Netflix on Nintendo Switch?
00:21:46 - Nintendo's relationship with developers like Vicarious Visions
00:25:51 - Steven Spielberg and BoomBlox
00:27:11 - Understanding Shigeru Miyamoto "The Showman"
00:29:43 - Why Nintendo stopped working with Monster Games
00:31:35 - Messaging using two GamePads on the Wii U
00:33:35 - The origins of the Nintendo Switch
00:35:08 - Reggie's thoughts on the bottomless questions about Nintendo
00:37:13 - E3 2023 "vs" Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest
00:38:55 - Why he was so frustrated with GameStop's management
00:41:20 - Reggie's thoughts on Game Informer (recorded before the layoffs)
00:43:23 - His plans for a documentary
MinnMax: When you first revealed the Wii U, everybody was asking you - can we use multiple Wii U GamePads? And eventually, it was interesting, because the messaging just came out and you [Nintendo] all said "yeah, yeah, absolutely you can, here we go"...and it was never asked again, and it was never implemented as far as I know...what was that like from your perspective?
Reggie: Well, what was interesting is that with the Wii U, there was a full development plan for all of the interesting interactions and all of the interesting capabilities that the system could do, and so in that case, technically could multiple GamePads communicate with a Wii U? Answer was "yes", but the install base never got large enough that that type of implementation made sense. And most importantly the company didn't create a game where you needed another GamePad in order to have a great experience, the development just never proceeded and the lifespan of the Wii U ended up being so short, that it just never came to pass...in order for those initiatives to come to life (at least from Nintendo's perspective) there needs to be a game that drives that implementation that enables the player to see why you would need a second GamePad as an example, and that game creation process is just so critical.