Reggie Fils-Aime – President of Nintendo of America until 2019 – published his first book this week, which serves as a guide for budding managers, but also contains many anecdotes from his time at Nintendo. Because of his book and because of the many interviews he gives for publicity purposes, we are currently inundated with stories from the approachable Regginator’s career. In this article, we cover another one.
It’s the year 2005. With the Nintendo DS the company launched the next generation of handheld consoles a year earlier. According to Reggie, Nintendo of America was already preparing for the GameBoy Advance to be phased out due to declining sales and to dispose of remaining inventory on Black Friday. After all, they wanted to focus their attention on the new Nintendo DS.
But then everything turned out differently. In early 2005, Reggie discovered that a more compact Game Boy Advance model was being developed in Japan. Unlike employees with a close connection to headquarters, however, he would not have been informed of the new equipment early enough. “From my point of view, the concept of Game Boy Microphone a stillborn,” Reggie writes in his book, referring to the tiny dimensions of the device and the screen, contrary to the trends of the time.
Situations like this are due to this isolated thought within the company at the time. “But hardware development had continued, so we were forced to release the system,” Reggie says angrily. He told his colleagues at the time that we should have talked about it much sooner and finally found that this product was not suitable for the North American market and should not be introduced there or should be put on the back burner in the future. global scale.
Reggie wasn’t there to berate his colleagues, but to jointly realize that operating in isolation from each other makes Nintendo of America ineffective when it comes to managing projects from Japan. Reggie turned out to be right, as even four months after launch less than 2 million Game Boy Micro units could be sold. He then had this case educational example used to bring more transparency and communication to the board of directors as president of Nintendo of America.
For more Reggie stories, check out our previous articles:
Do you own a Game Boy Micro? What’s your take on the tiny Nintendo handheld?