Mario Kart convinced the president of Nintendo to join the company in the 90s

Image: Nintendo

Shuntaro Furukawa, President of Nintendo, announced this. Super Mario Kart played a huge role in getting him to join the company early in his life.

Speaking with Nikkei, Furukawa talked about his history with Nintendo and how he came to work for the Kyoto firm. He admits that while he had a Super Famicom in the early 90s, he was more attracted to third-party games than Nintendo games – until a friend recommended a certain Mode 7 racing game:

In fact, it was a complete coincidence that I passed the entrance test at Nintendo. When I entered university in 1990, the Super Famicom was in full swing. I had one too, but I was mainly interested in games from other companies like Nobunaga’s Ambition and baseball games like Super Batter Up. I haven’t really played many Nintendo games.

One day a junior student at my tennis club said to me, “You should play this, it’s a waste of time if you don’t play this.” The game he recommended was Super Mario Kart from 1992. This was the first time I played a Nintendo game in a long time and it was so much fun! I remember feeling, “This company must be doing great stuff after all.”

So I asked for an internship through the application forms I sometimes saw in job search magazines. If I hadn’t played Mario Kart back then, my life might have been very different.

Furukawa graduated from the Waseda University School of Political Science and Economics in 1994 and joined Nintendo the same year. He worked as an accountant for Nintendo Europe for ten years before rising through the ranks to executive level. He was promoted to CEO of Corporate Planning in 2015 and joined the Nintendo Board of Directors the following year as Managing Executive Director of Corporate Analysis and Administration.

On June 28, 2018, he succeeded Tatsumi Kimishima as company president.

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