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Reggie Fils-Aimé’s new book, Disrupting the Game, is out now — a chronicle full of business advice, the story of his rise, and anecdotes about his time working with Nintendo. One of the most striking tales has to do with Reggie fighting to make Wii Sports a pack-in game for the Wii, a decision that pitted him against a top-level game dev from Japan — namely Shigeru Miyamoto, the most famous and legendary game designer of all-time. 

You see, Nintendo has bundled software with games going back to the Game Boy and NES, but as of 2006 it hadn’t been done at launch for one of their consoles in over a decade — and had never been done in Japan. Reggie’s initial proposal to bundle Wii Sports with the Wii was shot down by the late great Satoru Iwata (“Nintendo does not give away precious content for free”) leading to Miyamoto counter-proposing with Wii Play as a pack-in. Reggie didn’t feel like Play was a complete experience compared to Sports, instead suggesting they sell Play at retail bundled with a Wii Remote.



Getting spurned made Miyamoto visibly unhappy, a rarity. Referring to Reggie and Senior Vice President Mike Fukuda, Miyamoto said, “Neither of you understands the challenges of creating software that people love to play. This is something we constantly push ourselves to do. We do not give away our software.” While echoing Iwata’s sentiment, Iwata himself was gradually shifting positions towards Reggie’s side, mostly due to a growing understanding that the markets inside and outside of Japan were different. The two proposed bundles would be greenlit in the following months, and calling them successes is an understatement.

While this incident stands out, Reggie’s overall portrait of Nintendo is much more one of camaraderie than conflict. Whatever disagreements existed were always cordial, and he always attempted to keep a good relationship with other executives, particularly Iwata. You can check out this story and more in Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo, out now.



Via: Nintendo Life


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.