Navigate to ShigeruMiyamoto.com, and it redirects you to Nintendo’s official website. Interestingly, a WhoIs search reveals that Nintendo registered the domain in 2009. As now-former NeoGAF forum user “Metroid Hunter” pointed out, other high-profile Nintendo names won’t take users to a company-related site.
However, SuperMario.com, Metroid.com, DonkeyKong.com, and other popular Nintendo properties will navigate to a related site owned by the gaming company. Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto has become almost as iconic in the gaming world as the characters he creates, and it seems that he has practically become a Nintendo intellectual property himself.
The game designer is one of the few industry names that has become synonymous with the company he works for. Some of it seems cultural. As our own Rus McLaughlin puts it, “Japanese employees tend to self-identify roles much more than, say, an American would.” While that is slowly changing, the 59-year-old Miyamoto comes from a traditional Japanese upbringing. It’s a background in which employees place a high value on group involvement and loyalty to a company. Miyamoto joined Nintendo when he was 24, and after 35 years, it’s unlikely that he will ever work for another company.
This also raises the question, what will Nintendo do with the domain name — be it soon or after Miyamoto departs? Maybe the company simply picked up the domain to prevent squatters from taking it. He is worth a lot to Nintendo, and it’s likely that the company does not want his name associated with any other entity. This is akin to Apple shooting down App Store submissions that include Steve Jobs’ name. More interesting than Nintendo’s ownership of the domain is that it seems that the company owns his name.
Attempts to reach Nintendo representatives for comment on the purchase of the domain were unsuccessful. GamesBeat will update accordingly.