Genyo Takeda (JP) is a former senior managing director at Nintendo and the former general manager of Nintendo Integrated Research and Development (previously Nintendo R&D3). Takeda was a member of Nintendo since July 1972, after he graduated, and he became a member of R&D3 in 1981.
He largely worked on Nintendo hardware, though he also assisted in the creation of many quality video games, most from the Famicom era. Shigeru Miyamoto, general manager of Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and Satoru Iwata, former president of Nintendo, both agreed that Genyo Takeda was Nintendo's first video game designer, having worked on EVR Race, Nintendo's first video game. He is also known for his work in the Punch-Out!! and StarTropics series.
He retired in 2017, with Ko Shiota replacing him on the Board of Directors.
Genyo Takeda was born on March 7th of 1949 in Osaka, Japan. After graduating in 1970 from the Shizuoka Government University (where he studied semiconductors), he joined Nintendo after responding to a newspaper ad and consulting with Gunpei Yokoi (famed Nintendo designer). Takeda would quickly prove useful to Nintendo, assisting Masayuki Uemura in developing Laser Clay Shooting and EVR Race, leading some within Nintendo to consider him the first Nintendo video game designer (he started developing games even before Gunpei Yokoi. Miyamoto had yet to even join Nintendo and was still a student). EVR Race was hard to maintain since it was a mechanical game.
When Nintendo's video game business became lucrative, they established Nintendo R&D1 and Nintendo R&D2. Soon later, Nintendo R&D3 was set up and Takeda was made the head of that studio. Ever since then, he has been a general manager at Nintendo. At R&D3, Takeda would head the effort in creating hardware for Nintendo, though would tinker with game development as well with games such as Punch-Out!!, StarTropics, and a lot of famous sports games for the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System. Most of Takeda's games were developed with American gamers in mind. For the Famicom and NES, Takeda and his team developed the battery back-up used in games such as The Legend of Zelda. Because of them, many of the later games in the system's life were more technologically advanced than previous games. Takeda was also the screenwriter of both StarTropics and Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II.
Despite being largely a software developer, Nintendo R&D1 actually developed the Game Boy. R&D3, meanwhile, would help assist with the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System. For the Nintendo 64, Takeda is credited for the creation of the analog stick which allowed for greater freedom in 3D games for the Nintendo 64. By the time the GameCube came around, Takeda's team was renamed to Nintendo Integrated Research and Development. On the GameCube he helped design the console, controller, and the modem accessories for the system.
In May of 2002, Satoru Iwata promoted Takeda as a senior managing director when he became the new president (succeeding Hiroshi Yamauchi). Prior to this promotion, Takeda and his team began work on the Wii right after development of the Wii had finished. Takeda stated that during development, they decided early on to focus more on innovation rather than "stunning graphics".
- "After speaking with Nintendo's development partners, I became keenly aware of the fact that there is no end to the desire of those who just want more. Give them one, they ask for two. Give them two, and next time they will ask for five instead of three. Then they want ten, thirty, a hundred, their desire growing exponentially." - Genyo Takeda
Genyo Takeda was also appointed as the head developer of the Wii U hardware.
Following Satoru Iwata's death in 2015, he and Shigeru Miyamoto took up the positions of co-presidents in the interim period before the selection of a new president. On September 16, 2015, he would be officialy be named a Technology Fellow by the new president Tatsumi Kimishima. This would last until he officially retired at June 29, 2017. Ko Shiota took his position on the Board of Directors, although Takeda has remained as Special Corporate Adviser of Nintendo ever since.
In the 2018 DICE Awards, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award, mostly for being the lead designer on Nintendo 64, Nintendo Gamecube and Wii.
List of games
- Laser Clay Shooting (1973) - Designer
- EVR Race (1975) - Designer
- Sheriff (1979) - Producer, Director
- Space Firebird (1980) - Producer, Director
- Popeye (1982) - Producer, Designer
- Punch-Out!! (1984) - Producer, Director, Designer
- Super Punch-Out!! (1984) - Producer, Director, Designer
- Arm Wrestling (1984) - Producer, Director
- Punch-Out!! (NES) (1987) - Director
- StarTropics (1990) - Screenwriter, Director
- Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II (1994) - Screenwriter, Producer
- Super Punch-Out!! (SNES) (1994) - Producer
- Pilotwings 64 (1996) - Producer
- Dr. Mario 64 (2001) - Producer
- Punch-Out!! (Wii) (2009) - Supervisor
- Killer Instinct (1994)
- Donkey Kong Country (1994)
- Killer Instinct 2 (1996)
- Killer Instinct Gold (1996)
- Pokémon Puzzle League (2000)
- Nintendo Puzzle Collection (Panel de Pon) (2003)