Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's creator of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, has revealed in an interview that he plans to step down as head of game design.
Often dubbed the 'father of modern video games', many gamers owe Miyamoto their gaming education.
The now legendary 59-year-old won a BAFTA fellowship last year and has previously been voted the game developers' favourite. Now he hopes to start work on smaller projects with shorter timelines, saying in an interview with Wired, "Inside our office, I've been recently declaring, 'I'm going to retire, I'm going to retire. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position."
Back to forefront
"What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself. Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small."
Recently he has supervised the development of huge projects like Super Mario 3D Land and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, but now wants to "be in the forefront of game development once again".
He was certainly at the forefront back in 1981 when he produced the Donkey Kong arcade game that was Mario's first pixellated appearance. Since then he has been the driving force behind Nintendo's creative vision, including development of the Wii.
Leaving plenty to the imagination, Miyamoto said "I'm interested in doing a variety of many other things". When coming from a man whose brain spawned Nintendo's defining games as well as oddities like Nintendogs and Pikmin, there's no telling where he's headed next.
Nintendo has responded to the interview, however, and insists that its figurehead isn't retiring from Nintendo anytime soon, but may be branching out into training the next generation of game developers.
Speaking to Reuters, it explained: "There seems to have been a misunderstanding. He has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation.
"He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned."