John Vignocchi is no stranger to video games. He first left his mark at Midway before working his way up the career ladder to become the executive producer for Disney Infinity. Back in October of 2018, Vignocchi announced that he would be moving on to become an executive producer at Gearbox, the troubled maker of Borderlands. However, just seven months later, Vignocchi has now announced that he is leaving Gearbox to join Nintendo of America in Redmond, WA.
Dear industry and personal friends: It’s official: I’ve joined Nintendo and could not be more excited! pic.twitter.com/NoVJQHAO2J
— John Vignocchi (@JohnVignocchi) May 30, 2019
Vignocchi further said the following on Facebook:
I’ll be driving developer and publisher relations for North America so that Nintendo can continue to bring amazing content to all fans. I plan to help continue the tradition of building memories through Nintendo that will last a lifetime. I certainly have a lifetime of them already and can’t wait to make more. I’m humbled by this dream opportunity and will work tirelessly to bring you the best that I can.
First of all, congratulations are in order to John Vignocchi. Once you work for Nintendo — that’s it. There is no holier grail than that in the video game industry. I wish him the best in helping Nintendo create more magic.
However, his short tenure at Gearbox puts a bit of a dark cloud over everything. Granted, it is entirely possible that Vignocchi simply saw a better opportunity (It’s Nintendo!) and jumped on it. But it’s at least equally likely that he just did not like how things were run at Gearbox — or he did not like CEO Randy Pitchford’s leadership — and was looking for a fast exit. Pitchford is currently accused of lies and physical assault by his former Vice President, David Eddings.
We may never know the truth of the matter, so we might as well just be happy for Vignocchi and hope that greener pastures are ahead of him.