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Nintendo’s unsung hero Genyo Takeda accepts lifetime achievement award

DICE stands to applaud multi-talented designer and engineer

Genyo Takeda

Nintendo’s Genyo Takeda, a largely unsung innovator in the development of video games, was tonight awarded a DICE “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his work.

Prior to his retirement last year, Takeda had been instrumental in the Nintendo story. He created the company’s first arcade game, a horse-racing sim called EVR Race. He also created 1983 global hit Punch-Out!.

But it was his work as a hardware engineer that is likely to be most remembered. Takeda was instrumental in the design of the Nintendo 64, including its groundbreaking analog controller. And he confounded gaming in the last decade with the design of the ultra-successful Wii console.

Accepting the award, Takeda said that engineers often play “second violin” in terms of public acclaim, adding that he wanted to accept the award on behalf of his colleagues and competitors who had worked on all games consoles. He was introduced in a DICE promo clip as a man who had chosen to stay out of the limelight during his long career.

Takeda said he graduated as a major in electrical engineering in 1971, “the same year that Intel launched the first commercially available microprocessor.” This, he said, “was the seed that led to the game industry we see today.”

He also paid tribute to his former boss, the late Hiroshi Yamauchi, for giving “me the opportunity to lead the technology effort at Nintendo.” He also spoke of his regard for Nintendo’s lead game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and the late Satoru Iwata, with whom he worked closely for many years.

As he accepted a standing ovation, his final message for a gathering of game developers and designers was to “keep them smiling.”

We’ll have the full list of winner from the DICE Awards later tonight.