Nintendo's marketing phenom is handing the keys to the Mushroom Kingdom to Bowser. No, not the Bowser you're thinking of.
After over 15 years of making marketing magic at Nintendo of America, President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime announced his retirement Thursday. He will be walking out of the gaming company's doors April 15, and be succeeded by Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America's current Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
"Nintendo owns a part of my heart forever," Fils-Aime said in a prepared statement. "It's a part that is filled with gratitude--for the incredibly talented people I've worked with, for the opportunity to represent such a wonderful brand, and most of all, to feel like a member of the world's most positive and enduring gamer community. As I look forward to departing in both good health and good humor, this is not 'game over' for me, but instead 'leveling up' to more time with my wife, family and friends."
President of Nintendo Co., Ltd. Shuntaro Furukawa said that Fils-Aime is leaving Nintendo of America in strong standing, and he's very pleased to have an able successor such as Doug Bowser to fill Fils-Aime's shoes.
"It has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America," Bowser said. "And rest assured, we will continue to build on his work to evolve and expand our brand, furthering Nintendo's global mission of creating smiles. There are millions of those to come."
Fils-Aime's time at Nintendo of America began during the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube era in 2003, where he was Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing before becoming its President and COO in May 2006. His jovial leadership and marketing wizardry greatly expanded Nintendo's North American territory with mainstream releases such as Nintendogs, Brain Age, Wii Sports, and Wii Fit, and gained him a large following among Nintendo fans and the video game industry as a whole. He made his first on-stage appearance at Nintendo's E3 2004 press conference, where he announced, "I'm Reggie. I'm about kicking ass. I'm about taking names. And we're about making games," which propelled him to online celebrity status. With the addition of the fitness board for Wii Fit Plus, Fils-Aime gave birth to a meme that carried four words: "My body is ready." At E3 2014, he appeared in a commercial for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, throwing punches at the late Satoru Iwata before introducing the option to play the game as custom Mii characters.
Bowser joined Nintendo of America in May 2015 as Vice President of Sales. He was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing the following year. Prior to hopping aboard the Nintendo ship, Bowser served more than eight years at Electronic Arts as its Vice President of Global Business Planning. As soon as he came into Nintendo of America, Bowser led the sales and marketing efforts for the Nintendo Switch, which has become the fastest-selling console of this hardware generation.
With the Switch as popular as it is today, Fils-Aime is filled with peace of mind knowing that his protégé Bowser will make sure Nintendo of America stays at the top of its game--literally.