It started with a man.
Or rather, one quote.
But just who is Reggie Fils-Aime? What is his “secret origin” story?
Well, it turns out he was born in New York – specifically the Bronx and then grew up in Long Island – to a couple that had immigrated to the US from Haiti in the 1950s. From there he had a pretty ideal childhood, attending and graduating from Cornell University. After that he ended up having some very notable stints in different places like Proctor & Gamble, and even had worked at Pizza-Hut for a time where he played a part in the introduction of the Bigfoot Pizza.
(Anyone remember this commercial?)
In the early 2000s Reggie found his way to VH1 where he not only helped with organizing a charity concert for the victims of 9/11 but he also helped lead an initiative in helping the channel target younger audiences as well as retain their core ones as well. This experience would unknowingly prepare him for his next big gig, and one that would change his life as well as the lives of many gamers from the Nintendo camp.
At the end of 2003 Reggie joined Nintendo as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and in E3 of the following year made perhaps the biggest splash of all with the aforementioned line.
Was it the way he said it? No one really knows, but the interesting thing about it is that Reggie himself didn’t even come up with that line. Instead it was someone from Nintendo’s Public-Relations dept. and it did take some convincing for Reggie to go through with it but once he did…the rest was history in more ways than one.
And in not too long of a time after that Reggie was then promoted to President/COO of Nintendo of America, a position he held until this past April.
But beyond that, Reggie was also a hard-worker who lead by example and didn’t take no for an answer.
“I push people really hard. I push our agencies hard and I push our business partners hard. What I think people respect that I do what I’m asking then to do – long nights, long weekends – whatever it takes to get the job done.”
And through the Wii’s golden years, to the ups and downs of the WiiU, and then Nintendo’s resurgence with the Switch, Reggie has definitely been a guiding light on Nintendo, right alongside Shigeru Miyamoto and the late Satoru Iwata.
And while his Nintendo quest has come to a close, I can definitely say as a Nintendo fan that it has been one heck of a quest to witness, and seeing a company whose games left an indelible mark on my childhood come back into the limelight in the most genuine of ways is nothing short of amazing and incredible.
So enjoy your retirement Reggie, for after all you’ve done for Nintendo and gamers all over it is well deserved, and whatever your new quest will be, may it be a great one.
And of course,
Thank you for playing!
Some helpful link: