Reggie Fils-Aimé Remembers His First Meeting With Satoru Iwata

Satoru Iwata GDC 2011 Photo

In a recent interview, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has reflected on the first meeting that he had with Satoru Iwata.

The late Nintendo president went on to become one of his treasured mentors, but, when Fils-Aimé had asked to speak to him as part of his recruitment process, it was an unexpected request.

“I learned so much from, Mr. Iwata and I’ll share a story. When I was being recruited for the opportunity to join Nintendo, I asked as part of the process to speak with Mr. Iwata. It was not going to be part of the process and as I learned later, it actually was a bit of a disruption in the process,” Fils-Aimé explained to

“Imagine from Nintendo’s perspective, ‘Who’s this candidate thinking that he can spend time with our global president. This is not a role that is going to be based in Japan. Why does he want to talk with him?’ I mean, you can imagine the types of conversations that must have been happening. But in the end they agreed for me to speak with Mr. Iwata before I would decide whether to accept the role.

“It was set up to be a half-hour conversation and it ended up running much longer than that. And it really sets the stage for the type of business and personal relationship we would have. We would talk all the time. He was gracious in sharing his perspective. He was tremendously accommodating in hearing a unique point of view from me, a person who had no history in the video game business other than as a player.

“But [he valued] my perspective because I brought a consumer sensibility. I brought a Western business sensibility. And the relationship that he and I had for almost 11 years, it was truly special and just, his openness with me and the things that we were able to do truly together, were just magical.”

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