Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of popular franchises such as Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong, is the subject of speculation to become the next president of Nintendo.

The position remains open after the death of Satoru Iwata, who was the president of Nintendo from 2002 until this year. Iwata succumbed to cancer on July 11 at the age of 55 years old, shocking the industry and leading to millions of gamers mourning the loss of one of the video game industry's leaders.

Miyamoto is known for having a wide circle of friends that includes rock legend Paul McCartney and Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. Miyamoto has also helped the nurturing of young talent at Nintendo, after all the years that he spent in designing some of the company's most popular titles.

Upon Iwata's death, Miyamoto said that he will be maintaining the game-development direction that was established by Iwata and him, adding that he will be working with developers for the creation of the future that Iwata would be proud to see.

Miyamoto, in an interview at the annual E3 last month with The Wall Street Journal, said that team assignments are done so to carry out his ideas. An example was with Nintendo's new Splatoon, which was launched in May for the Wii U and has reached sales levels of over a million copies all over the world.

Miyamoto said that the senior level supported the younger developers, and that is the transition that is being undertaken in Nintendo.

While the company has claimed that there are currently no plans to find a replacement for Iwata, who was also a representative director for the company, with no interim president named. However, Nintendo said that Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda, the other representative director, will continue in their roles.

Takeda is a 66-year-old engineer that has his roots in the hardware component of Nintendo, leading the development of consoles such as the Nintendo 64.

Iwata was still working until the days right before he passed away, leading Nintendo's efforts to keep up with the rapid rise to popularity of games for smartphones, an industry that the company is preparing to enter. This fact would lend credence to the support for Miyamoto to take on the role of presidency in Nintendo.

Nintendo is expected to launch its first smartphone games by the end of this year. It is also expected that the company will provide more details next year on the upcoming NX game console, and these initiatives will undergo no changes due to Iwata's death, according to a spokeswoman from Nintendo.

Photo: Vincent Diamante | Flickr

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