Business analysts believe Genyo Takeda will be the man to succeed the late Satoru Iwata as Nintendo's president and CEO. Takeda is the current general manager of Nintendo's research and development division.
Since the death of Iwata on 11 July, Takeda has been co-running the company alongside fellow Nintendo veteran and legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto - who has also been touted as a candidate.
It is a widely held belief that Miyamoto will not be offered or take up the role as president given his importance to the creative software development side of the company.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Nick Parker of Parker Consulting said: "I am pretty sure that the candidate will come from within the business; the very essence of Nintendo games draws from decades of management recognising a market desire for mass market fun. The obvious two choices are Takeda-san or Miyamoto-san, the former a hardware technology company veteran, the latter, the king of Nintendo first party content.
"Although it would be a romantic dream to have the company lead by the father of Mario, I think Takeda-san has more corporate experience and really understands hardware; it was he who argued for a new interface for the Wii rather than just a faster Gamecube with better graphics."
The Wii of course was a big risk but was a huge success and stands as one of the best-selling home consoles of all time.
"We are on the cusp of a new generation of Nintendo hardware within three years, both console and handheld, and Nintendo needs Takeda-san's experience. The alternative would be a relative unknown from within, from which there is a deep pool of loyal, long serving (25 years+) candidates.
"The next five years are crucial to Nintendo as it launches new hardware and explores digital opportunities, including mobile, for its mascot titles; therefore it needs somebody who understands the company culture, can respond to global consumer expectations, and manage an enviable balance sheet."
Mike Schramm, manager of Qualitative Insights at EEDAR backed Takeda to be given the position as well, saying: "Genyo Takeda, who helped Punch-Out and Startropics, was one of the main devs on the Wii, and has a similar trajectory in the company as Iwata (from programmer to manager to executive). Takeda is likely a lead candidate for the job.
"Nintendo also has a number of executives on its board of directors who also could step up into the spot. It's very unlikely that the company would hire someone from outside Japan or from another corporation, as Nintendo doesn't need to (and shouldn't want to) make waves with this appointment. Most likely it'll be a senior Japanese executive at the company, ideally someone who has had a hand in game development at some point."
Finally there's Dr. Serkan Toto, an expert on Japan's mobile industry, who agreed with the sentiment but doesn't rule out the possibility of an unknown taking the position. "Iwata-san was apparently a very capable programmer and turned out to be a great leader overall... Nintendo is the most iconic game maker in the world that (at least in Japan) attracts the top talent in gaming: they might have people like him in the work force who could follow in Iwata's footsteps."
No official word has been given regarding Iwata's successor, but there's no need for Nintendo to rush into making one. Iwata's passing at the age of 55 is still a fresh tragedy and the gaming industry is still in a state of mourning.
IBTimes UK speculated as to who could become the next Nintendo president – including Takeda and Nintendo of Europe president Satoru Shibata. You can read our thoughts here.