Lance Barr, the man who designed Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo, announced his retirement. The announcement was made on his LinkedIn page, where he revealed that after almost 39 years in Nintendo, I retire and pass me to ‘other’ projects. It remains to see what those other projects could be, but hopefully we will see more about the creative genius of him in the near future. Barr has had a historic career with the company, designing some of the most memorable products of it. It is difficult to exaggerate the impact that the designs of him have had and how they have shaped the game industry.
Barr began his race with Nintendo in 1982, designed for the first time Arcade cabinets for the company. Famicom was launched in Japan in 1983, but the system would experience a series of changes before arriving in North America in 1985. Barr helped to redesign Japanese famicom to sell the console in a region where the interest in video games had decreased considerably . . In addition to NES and SNES, Barr also designed Wii Nunchuck.
It is interesting to imagine what could have happened if the NES had been launched with a different design! The library of the console could have been enough to win the players, but the design of the system remains a cultural icon 36 years after its initial launch. Players can find the designs that Barr created in all kinds of different products, from t-shirts to LEGO Games and Hallmark ornaments. It is a testimony of the skills of him as a designer, and it seems a safe bet that the designs of NES and SNES will be remembered in the coming decades.
While Barr may not be a family name for most players, it has played a fundamental role in the success of Nintendo, as well as the success of the whole video game industry; If the NES had failed, there would probably not be an industry at all! There are innumerable people who work behind the scene in the development of games that could not get the level of recognition they deserve. Hopefully, Barr’s contributions to the industry will be remembered for a long time and the next projects of it will find a similar level of success.
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