After over 40 years of service to Nintendo, game and hardware designer Genyo Takeda has officially revealed his impending retirement from the company. His retirement will officially occur at the same time as Nintendo's 77th Shareholder meeting, on June 29th 2017.
Takeda, now 68, is currently the Representative Director and Technology Fellow at Nintendo, and was originally brought on to Nintendo by the developer of the Game Boy back in 1971. Between individual contributions and team participation, Takeda invented or helped to create some of Nintendo's biggest innovations. The now-iconic Duck Hunt game and NES Zapper light gun owe their existence to Takeda, who created the system based on an adaptation of an arcade projection shooting game that utilized a light gun which saw short-lived success in Japan.
More recently, Takeda helped to create the back-up battery that allowed games to be saved on NES cartridges, as well as the then-innovative analog stick for the Nintendo 64's controller. He was also part of the team which brought the Wii console to life. Takeda also didn't shy away from games, leading the team responsible for creating the original Punch-Out!! and Nintendo's very first arcade game, EVR Race.
Takeda is expected to have his position taken by Ko Shiota, who is currently serving Nintendo as an Executive Officer. Shiota has worked directly under Takeda on some of the same projects, including helping to create the Wii and Wii U. It's unclear if Takeda had any say in who would take over his position.
Although Genyo Takeda's name may not be as well-known to modern day gamers as some other Nintendo devs, such as Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata, who passed away in 2015, Genyo Takeda has played a huge part in the development and advancement of Nintendo as a household brand. Nintendo has taken some major risks over the years to create innovation, with a handful of both successes and failures to show for it. In any case, without Takeda's creations, what gamers currently take for granted could have turned out very differently. Between analog controllers and the motion controls in the Wii, Nintendo's consoles as well as the consoles of its competitors could well be very different without Takeda's contributions to the gaming world.