Ex-Nintendo Exec Says He Had to 'Politely Decline' Working on a Game With Kanye West

In one of the odder gaming stories to come out in 2020, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has revealed that Kanye West once approached the company about working together on a project.

Fils-Aime shared the story about meeting West on his Talking Games With Reggie & Herold podcast, as noted by a recent post on Nintendo Everything. On the podcast, Fils-Aime said that at a past E3 convention, the hip-hop artist/producer/fashion designer visited Nintendo's area at the event and spent some time with famed game director Shigeru Miyamoto.

reggie fils aime nintendo e3
Reggie Fils-Aime during Nintendo's E3 2016 presentation. Nintendo

To hear Fils-Aime tell it, West then asked to have a meeting with him. According to Fils-Aime, the two eventually met at West's California business office, where the rapper proceeded to shoot his shot.

"Part of [the meeting] was talking about what he was up to. He was experimenting with a piece of video game content; he wanted reactions to it. He comes out and says, 'I want to work with Nintendo,'" Fils-Aime recalled. "We had so many different projects at Nintendo going on, the possibility of doing something with Kanye just wasn't there, and so I had to find a way to politely decline this opportunity to work with him."

Fils-Aime said that he tried let the multi-hyphenate down gently. "I told him, 'Kanye, you don't want to work with us because we're tough, we're hard. All we do is push for the very best content. We would not be the type of partner you would want to work with.' And he looks at me and says, 'Reggie, you're exactly the type of partner I want because of that reason!' It's like, 'Oh my gosh.'"

The ex-Nintendo of America executive described the encounter as "interesting" and mentioned that Kim Kardashian-West was present for the meeting as well. Of course, the meeting didn't amount to a collaboration between Nintendo and Kanye West, but it's a curious thing to imagine.

The Talking Games with Reggie & Harold podcast is a seven-part series that was put together in April to support the New York Videogame Critics Circle, a nonprofit organization that aims to raise funds to ensure the education, mentoring and scholarships to homeless high school students in New York City.

You can donate to the cause here, and receive bonus content, like this Kanye story, for contributing.

West has made his interest in developing video games known in the past. Back in 2015, West announced a mobile game called Only One, named after a single of his. He once described the game by saying, "The idea of the game is my mom traveling through the gates of Heaven."

The game was slated to be produced by Los Angeles-based film and animation studio Encyclopedia Pictura. In 2019, Encyclopedia Pictura told The Gamer that it was no longer involved with the project.