(Credit: Jin Lee/Bloomberg)
A petition asking Nintendo to add Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO of Nintendo of America, to the fighting game's roster is gathering steam, having collected over 23,000 of the targeted 25,000 electronic signatures. And a Twitter campaign supporting that petition is proving popular as well.
Fils-Aime has even acknowledged the campaign and said he'd be open to appearing in the game, should the game's director, Masahiro Sakurai approve the idea. And he did so in one of the most public forums possible: The Jimmy Kimmel Show.
"You have to ask that to Mr. Sakurai. He's the producer of the game, it's his game. But if he wants, my body is ready," he quipped, using one of the many catch phrases that have become associated with the brash executive.
The game, due out for the Wii U and 3DS systems in 2014, brings together a wealth of famous video game mascots and lets them duke it out in colorful, cartoonish battles. It's among Nintendo's most popular franchises.
In addition to the petition, a Twitter campaign to put pressure on Nintendo -- using the hashtag #ReggieForSmashBros -- has been making the rounds.
Normally an executive -- even one in the video game world, where execs are often the most public face of a console system -- doesn't receive this sort of adulation, but when it comes to Reggie, the rules are different.
The cult of personality around Fils-Aime started with his very first public appearance at Nintendo's 2004 E3 press conference. Without preamble, he strode to the stage and announced "My name is Reggie. I'm about kickin' ass, I'm about takin' names, and we're about makin' games."
Gamers were hooked by someone who seemed so radically different from the kid-friendly attitude the company usually puts forward. He's been a star ever since.
In between meetings at industry events, Fils-Aime can often be found on the show floor, high-fiving players and posing for pictures with iconic characters. Fans have made him an Internet sensation, creating memes and animated gifs around his more memorable quotes, and even digging up his high school pictures.
Should the campaign prove successful, they'll finally get a chance to see just how much ass he really can kick.
- Arts & Entertainment