As you may know, former Nintendo of America president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aimé is doing a gaming podcast with Harold Goldberg for charity. The big draw is, of course, the Regginator’s stories about working at Nintendo and in the gaming industry, such as last week’s yarn about meeting Shigeru Miyamoto for the first time. This week, the duo talked with another luminary in the field, Geoff Keighley. Reggie and Geoff reminisce about their meetings over the past 15 years, but the best is when they talk about their professional friendship in the trade and their rivalry in competitive games like Wii Sports.
At around the 7:40 mark of the podcast, Howard asks Geoff and Reggie to discuss their relationship. Keighley pins their first meeting to 2005, shortly after Fils-Aimé joined Nintendo. They met for lunch at Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica after Geoff had interviewed Satoru Iwata for an article in Business 2.0. They started talking about things and developed a friendship from there. Reggie in turn recalls the first article about him published by Geoff Keighley later that year, in which he talks about the hardware and Virtual Console on the Revolution, later named the Wii.
However, one of the most endearing features of this friendship is the fierce rivalry in competitive games. Older gamers might recall that one of the highlights of E3 was Reggie taking on challengers in Nintendo games, especially Geoff Keighley. As it turns out, Geoff started this tradition. At E3 2006, he felt that it would make for good TV to challenge Fils-Aimé to a round of Wii Sports Tennis. Reggie lost badly and “swore that that would never happen again on any broadcast and in any situation.” After this incident, journalists would line up to challenge him at events. They all lost.
However, this was all small change compared to his true nemesis. Reggie set up an event at GDC 2007 for the sole purpose of defeating Geoff Keighley. The Regginator practiced constantly, often taking business calls on a headset so he could get better at Wii Sports Tennis. Needless to say, he won. He used a similar regimen to beat Shigeru Miyamoto at Wii Fit Soccer, practicing the game all night prior to that match.
I’m not a huge fan of podcasts, but it was great to hear some of my industry heroes wax nostalgic about the good old days of their career. You can check out the podcast, and if you like what you’ve heard, consider giving a donation to nygamecritics.com/reggie. The proceeds go to homeless students.