Earlier this month, Reggie Fils-Aime announced that he will be retiring this year. Come April, he will no longer be President of Nintendo of America and it’s honestly kind of a shock. The fact that the man is retiring isn’t shocking; he is pretty close to normal retirement age after all. Rather, it’s just kind of hard to accept that we won’t be seeing him around anymore. Reggie Fils-Aime has kind of been the face of Nintendo here in America these last fifteen years, even more so than the great Shigeru Miyamoto. He’s been there for every big announcement to come out of the company during that time, has shaken hands with many fans that came to the company’s launch events and consistently engaged with the gaming community in ways that one would never expect of a high-level executive. The man was even able to take his memes with good humor. So in that spirit, let’s take a look back at some of Reggie’s best moments and most endearing exploits during his time as President of Nintendo of America.
Nintendo DS Announcement – E3 2004
Many of us were first introduced to Mr. Reggie Fils-Aime when he took the stage at E3 2004 to pull back the curtain on Nintendo’s then-revolutionary new handheld console: the Nintendo DS. Mr. Fils-Aime himself may not have stood out all that much during the announcement, but he did a great job of expressing why Nintendo DS was going to be an exciting system. It was also apparent that he already something of a flair for the dramatic.
My Body is Ready – E3 2007
Nintendo’s press conference for E3 2007 wasn’t all that spectacular in terms of announcements. Mr. Fils-Aime spent a lot of time talking about the state of the Wii and Nintendo DS, and a lot of focus was also placed on the gaming community’s reaction to those systems up to that point. This was a conference meant to show how strong Nintendo’s position was and their drive to continually innovate. This presser would have been entirely forgettable if it weren’t for the one special moment shown above.
Reggie Fils-Aime was already well-regarded by gamers by now, but it this was when he truly became a part of gaming culture; the face of Nintendo in particular. He wasn’t just Reggie Fils-Aime anymore; instead he was just “Reggie” or “The Regginator.” Many people would find this embarrassing and do their best to shy away from it, but not Reggie. He’s seemingly enjoyed the jokes and even made one final reference to the infamous line that started it all when he announced his retirement.
Reggie Fils-A-Mech – E3 2014
Unlike most high-level executives in the gaming industry, Reggie hasn’t been at all afraid to engage with the company’s fans. As mentioned earlier, he’s been present at the launch events for many Nintendo console and shaken the hands of the first few people to purchase the company’s products. Then there are videos like the one above. It serves the important purpose of announcing everything Nintendo was planning for E3 2014, but it’s done in the goofiest way one can think of. Much of that credit goes to Mega64 and the hardworking people in Nintendo’s marketing department, but it’s still worth pointing out that the man was willing to take time out of his schedule and pretend to be a killer-robot version of himself for the sake of the audience. That’s just plain awesome right there.
Training For The Nintendo World Championships – E3 2015
Nintendo did something similar for the following year’s E3, with Reggie playing a version of himself that’s more dedicated to being the very best Nintendo gamer there is than he is to running the company. It’s an obvious joke of course, but still one that takes a willingness to publicly poke fun at oneself in order to pull off. Not many executives are like that. Heck, not many people are like that. It’s exactly this kind of attitude and down to earth image that’s made the so popular with gamers (it also helps that he actually followed through and took on HungryBox in Super Smash Bros. at the 2015 Nintendo World Championships).
There is of course much more to Reggie Fils-Aime than these few snippets from his public appearances. The man’s served as Nintendo of America’s president for over a decade now, and that doesn’t happen unless a person can deftly handle the business of running a major company. Doing so takes a lot of time and dedication no matter who you are, yet Reggie still went out of his way to connect with Nintendo fans despite being justifiably too busy to do so. This is why Reggie came to be such a celebrated figure in the gaming industry and it’s also why he will be sorely missed. Please enjoy your retirement, Mr. Fils-Aime, you’ve absolutely earned it.