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Years ago, I used to speak with Reggie Fils-Aimé on a regular basis. He obliterated me once while playing Wii Sports Tennis during a live event. And he retired after 15 years at Nintendo of America, ending his tenure as president and chief operating officer in 2019.
But the Regginator has returned as the author of a new book, Disrupting the Game, and he spoke with Gamertag Radio cofounder Danny Peña at our recent GamesBeat Summit. During the summit, I was able to hang out with Fils-Aimé at a couple of dinners and discuss a lot of topics with him. I read the book, and I highly recommend it as a different kind of memoir and business advice book. After reading it, I lament the fact that we don’t really have a similar figure in gaming leadership today.
Fils-Aimé was an aggressive defender of the Nintendo brand, and he enjoyed the intellectual sparring that comes with press interviews. In contrast, it feels like so many other leaders are afraid to get their real opinions out in the open. So it was a lot of fun to have a long conversation with him again.
He dodged a few tough ones like what happened to the F-Zero franchise. But he addressed head-on a question about Nintendo’s recent use of contractors. And he came out in favor of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a business model with a lot of potential in gaming. He also spoke about the Square Enix deal to sell its Western studios to Embracer Group, his views on E3, and his time on the GameStop board.