These have been really busy days for Nintendo. After forecasting a surprise $240 million loss for the current fiscal year, and among different kind of rumors, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke yesterday at an investors meeting in Tokyo and dropped some unexpected news. Since I can’t speak or read Japanese (and since the official Nintendo translation doesn’t include everything), I’ve spent some time researching different outlets and in order to bring you a proper summary.
As part of Nintendo’s new strategy, Iwata is reducing his salary in half. Other seven executives (including Shigeru Miyamoto) will get pay cuts between 20% and 30%. The salary reduction starts in February and will last until June, when the situation will be reviewed based on the company’s progress.
This move may be unusual for the rest of the industry but not for Nintendo: over 2 years ago, Iwata had made a similar decision following disappointing 3DS sales. Those also were rough times for the company, making its former president Hiroshi Yamauchi lose $500 million in one day.
In the long run, the handheld business proved to be healthy for Nintendo. The Wii U, however, seems to be more problematic, having to compete against its classic opponents (Sony, Microsoft) and the emergence of mobile gaming.
Regarding the company’s next steps, Iwata used the same investors meeting to drop 2 bombs:
- There are no plans to launch Nintendo games for non-Nintendo platforms, BUT…
Therefore, we would like to, instead of directly expanding our business on smart devices, focus on achieving greater ties with our consumers on smart devices and expanding our platform business. (…) Accordingly, I have not given any restrictions to the development team, even not ruling out the possibility of making games or using our game characters. However, if you report that we will release Mario on smart devices, it would be a completely misleading statement. It is our intention to release some application on smart devices this year that is capable of attracting consumer attention and communicating the value of our entertainment offerings, so I would encourage you to see how our approach yields results.
- Iwata’s next 10 years in the company will focus on “quality of life through entertainment”. In that line, Nintendo’s next platform will be a non-wearable device to monitor the user’s health, and will be launched during the fiscal year ending March 2016.
You can read the official translation of the presentation here. It’s full of interesting quotes.