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Miyamoto (Wikipedia photo)

Was something lost in translation? Wired yesterday reported that legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto — the creator of Super Mario and Legend of Zelda — was stepping down from his current role at the Japanese game maker to work on smaller projects at the company.

“Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, ‘I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire,’” Miyamoto said through his interpreter. “I’m not saying that I’m going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position.”

That statement alone sent some shockwaves through the gaming industry, and even negatively impacted Nintendo’s stock.

But now Nintendo is backpedaling from the statements, telling Reuters that the 59-year-old mastermind isn’t vacating his current role.

“This is absolutely not true,” a spokeswoman for Nintendo told Reuters. “There seems to have been a misunderstanding. He has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. “He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned.”

Nintendo, which maintains its North American operations in Redmond, needs the creative juices of Miyamoto at a time when the company is facing new threats from mobile and social media games.  The company has shied away from those platforms, choosing instead to develop games for its own platforms.

That’s led to some speculation that it is time for Nintendo to cultivate a new breed of game designer at the company, something Miyamoto alluded to in his remarks when he noted that he wanted to work on smaller projects with younger game developers. “In other words, I’m not intending to start from things that require a five-year development time,” he said.

Anyway, here’s the statement Nintendo issued on the matter today [Via The Guardian]:

Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s role at Nintendo is not changing. He will continue to be a driving force in Nintendo’s development efforts. In discussing his priorities at Nintendo in a media interview, Mr Miyamoto explained how he is encouraging the younger developers at the company to take more initiative and responsibility for developing software.

He attempted to convey his priorities moving forward, inclusive of overseeing all video game development and ensuring the quality of all products. Mr Miyamoto also discussed his desire to pursue fresh ideas and experiences of the kind that sparked his initial interest in video games.

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