Nintendo of America President and Chief Operating Officer Reggie Fils-Aimé recently announced that he will be stepping down and retiring on April 15, 2019. While it’s great to see him get a break from his busy work schedule, many gamers were saddened by the news. Not because they’re worried about his successor, Doug Bowser, but because Fils-Aimé became a beloved figure thanks to his genuine displays of affection towards the fan base, ability to embrace internet humor, and an undeniable passion for gaming.
Nintendo fans will always have a massive amount of love for Fils-Aimé, so let’s take a look back at some of the great moments that made him more than just a businessman.
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | An epic introduction
You only get one chance to make a first introduction, and Fils-Aimé managed to nail his. Ever since he uttered his first line during Nintendo’s E3 2004 press conference, he’s been beloved by the Nintendo community. With confidence and charm that nobody could deny, the former Pizza Hut Senior Director of National Marketing made a grand statement at his new job by letting his inner-badass shine. “My name is Reggie,” he said before dropping a bombshell on the audience. “I’m about kickin’ ass. I’m about takin’ names, and we’re about makin’ games.” In an industry with so many talking suits, Fils-Aimé was a fresh face that treated everyone in the audience like a normal person.
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | Reggie’s body is ready
His natural charisma also shined in unscripted interactions. His small utterance of “My body is ready,” while getting on top of the Wii Balance Board would change the internet forever. It was an uncharacteristically awkward exchange that happened while showing off Wii Fit, but one that was endearing to everyone. As such, it became a meme almost instantly and fans still regularly mention it when getting hyped for a new release or Nintendo Direct presentation.
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | Embracing the memes
One thing that always stood out about Fils-Aimé is that he never took himself too seriously despite being one of gaming’s most important figures. During E3 2012, he excitedly took a jab at himself as he uttered his accidental catchphrase of, “My body is ready” once again while announcing Wii Fit U. This time, he delivered it with a confidence of a man that knew his joke would hit and he got the desired response from the crowd.
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | His great competitive spirit
Similar to Phil Spencer, Fils-Aimé is an avid gamer that loves to talk about playing his company’s titles. This even applied when he wasn’t good at them. Despite never being much of a talented Super Smash Bros. player, he still had the same tenacity that most competitive players do. During Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS tournament at E3 2014, he hilariously talked some smack to the winner.
“My opportunity is coming with Smash on 3DS,” said the executive. “Now, I’m gonna play it on the go and I’m gonna be able to come back up next time and kick your ass!”
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | A beautiful goodbye
During the 2015 edition of The Game Awards, Reggie Fils-Aime paid tribute to his former boss, the late Satoru Iwata. It was a moving speech that praised Iwata for not just moving Nintendo forward, but the entire gaming industry.
“The man was fearless,” said Fils-Aimé. “Remember how you felt when you first heard the name Wii? Or what was said when you found out about Nintendogs, Brain Age, or a dual-screened portable device? You may have been puzzled, but he already knew. He had already heard the criticisms internally, but he always championed an idea he truly believed in and we all benefited.”
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | “Link is hot”
Fils-Aimé wasn’t just fantastic at interacting with gamers, he was a fantastic ambassador for gaming in general. He was always money whenever he appeared on mainstream television shows and made sure to charm the hosts. One of the most memorable moments happened on CBS This Morning, where Fils-Aimé admitted that Link was a sex symbol that could draw in a sizable female audience. He also appeared countless times on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and was equally as entertaining there.
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | Giving back to charity
There’s not a negative word to be found about Fils-Aimé, except from jilted Mother 3 fans, and he’s always gone out of his way to support positive movements. In 2014, the Nintendo of America President took part in the ice bucket challenge in order to raise money for ALS awareness. Like the champ he is, he took the cold water in style as he triumphantly had his hands raised the entire time.
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | Becoming a puppet
There are too many hilarious Nintendo Direct moments to hit, but just like his co-workers Shigeru Miyamoto and Iwata, Fils-Aimé had incredible comedic timing. Perhaps the funniest bit was when he voiced a puppet version of himself that was obsessed with working out. He eventually morphed into Falco from Star Fox, showing that Fils-Aimé was more than just a mere human. It goes to show that nothing was too ridiculous for him and that he was always happy to put on a show that would entertain the fans.
Great Reggie Fils-Aimé moments | Promoting unity across gaming
Gaming is an industry that is filled with petty arguments that go all the way from YouTube comments to platform holders arguing about cross-play. However, Fils-Aimé was always a class act that had nothing negative to say about his competitors. Instead, he knew that competition was always for the better and that Nintendo could pave its own way. One of his last public displays as President was appearing at the 2018 The Game Awards presentation and sharing the stage with Xbox and PlayStation heads, Phil Spencer and Shawn Layden. It was one last act of unity and respect from the incredible President. Even gamers that didn’t own Nintendo consoles had respect for this positive outlook.