Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata was recently re-elected as company president at the annual shareholders meeting – and he’s had an approval rating boost. The CEO had a tough time last year when his rating slumped to 77.26 per cent, down 13.34 per cent from 2012′s 90.60 per cent. However, his approval rating this year has been boosted a further 3.38 per cent from last year’s lowest score yet, totalling 80.64 per cent for 2014.
Due to surgery in order to remove a bile-duct growth, Iwata could not attend this year’s shareholders meeting, but is recovering well as reported in his statement last week.
Approval ratings have also been revealed for other board members, with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto down 5.93 per cent from last year and equalling 86.81 per cent for 2014, along with former Nintendo of America president Tatsumi Kimishima falling to 89.11 per cent from 2013′s 92.82 per cent.
Though – in general – Nintendo board members approval ratings have fallen slightly, Iwata’s has risen, which could mean he’s in good stead to remain as company president following this year.
Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata has announced he will miss the company’s 74th AGM with shareholders due to medical conditions. In a statement issued by the president this morning, Iwata explained his absence at the AGM, referring to his recent surgery and the treatment to remove a growth found in the bile duct.
Earlier this month, Satoru Iwata skipped E3 – the biggest gaming event of the year – due to medical issues and was advised by his doctor not to travel overseas. Nintendo’s shareholder meeting will take place on June 27, where we’ll hear more on the company’s plans for the future. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, please refrain from posting vitriolic comments. You can find Iwata’s full statement below.
Thank you very much for your continued extraordinary support of us. I am Satoru Iwata, President of the company.
Today, there is one thing that I would like to share with you.
Recently, as the result of one of my routine physical examinations, an issue was detected. Following a more detailed examination, a growth was found in my bile duct. In general, it is said that a bile duct growth can be difficult-to-treat, partly because of the difficulty of detecting it early. In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms.
I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted. I have already resumed my business by email and by other means, but it is anticipated that a little more time is needed for me to return to my regular work schedule.
As a result, I have no choice but to miss the company’s very important activity, the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, to be held this month. As the president of the company, I regret that I cannot attend the meeting. However, I understand that I have to prioritize my medical treatment and to recover as soon as possible so that I will again be able to do my best to help the company to grow. I hope that you understand.
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata believes the fate of a video game system can be “influenced greatly” by a single game. The company’s president has addressed investors concerns in a Q & A session following the investor briefing last week. In a three-page translation uploaded today, Iwata has confirmed Nintendo will strive to deliver consumer satisfaction before announcing new hardware, but that it will also focus on achieving its conservative forecasts for the Wii U and 3DS.
The modest goals put in place by Nintendo is not because of falling sales, but rather what the company feels it can confidently achieve for the next fiscal year. Though a release for Mario Kart 8 is just a few weeks away and Super Smash Bros is due to launch this winter, Iwata has said the company would prefer to keep with its original conservative figures, rather than release optimistic ones. He concludes by assuring investors that he does not believe 3.60 million Wii U consoles is the peak of its life cycle.
“In order to recreate momentum and sell 5.00 million or 10.00 million units of hardware annually, there are indeed challenges that we must overcome. And in the face of these challenges, announcing more optimistic figures before we actually release the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. titles to consumers, would not be compatible with our original stance to provide rather conservative figures, so once again we set our estimates by considering how much we could realistically hope to achieve with our software lineup.
“The fate of a video game system is often influenced greatly by the introduction of a single title. As many of you probably remember, before the release of the Pokémon game, Game Boy had been showing slow growth, and many people wondered whether it was the end of Game Boy. But the Pokémon game single-handedly changed the landscape of the system, which then started to show the strongest sales in the lifecycle of the system.
“On the other hand, we do not believe that this year’s estimate of 3.60 million units of Wii U hardware will be the peak of its lifecycle, and we would like to work hard to make sure that we give sufficient momentum to the system so that we can expect good results in and after the next fiscal year, too. However, as for this fiscal year, as I explained before, the figures you see have been determined by rather conservative estimates.”
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata elaborated on a few future details the company would take in last week’s investor’s briefing. The CEO explained how NFC figures would launch, along with new Wii U GamePad-focused titles to highlight the system’s unique hardware. With access to the translated version of the Q & A investor’s briefing, Iwata has addressed investors concerns on when Nintendo will expect to reveal their new next-generation hardware.
Nintendo’s president assured investors that the company is not at a “dead-end” in terms of ideas for their next hardware and that the team has a “clear idea” on which direction it will take. However, Iwata also mentioned that Nintendo will not launch their next hardware until consumers, who have already purchased such platforms, are entirely satisfied.
“Once we launch a new platform, we naturally start to prepare for the next one. As it takes several years to develop a single platform, if you ask us whether we are preparing for our next system, then the correct response will be that we are always developing new hardware.
“On the other hand, the most difficult question for us to answer in public in concrete terms is when we are going to launch our new hardware and what kind of hardware we are going to launch, and I am afraid that I cannot talk about this in more detail. However, I can certainly assure you that we are not at a dead-end of any kind in which we are out of ideas for developing new hardware.”
Iwata concluded: “I, of course, believe that launching new hardware will not produce good results unless we first make sure that those who have already purchased our platforms are satisfied. We will continue to work hard to ensure that consumers who already own our platforms are satisfied, and make sure that people will continue to see great value in our software, but I would like to say that we are preparing for our next hardware system, and in fact, we already have a clear idea to some extent about the direction our next hardware is going to take.”
Nintendo has confirmed that it will not be unveiling a new Wii U at E3 2014. To downplay speculation that the company is planning to announce a redesigned version of the console at next month’s expo, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata called the rumors “groundless.” The firm will, however, reveal projects that can only work with the Wii U GamePad. It is also developing a cheap console that will be targeted at emerging markets like China and India.
Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata has revealed that he will take a voluntary 50 per cent pay cut – for the next five months – following a press conference discussing its Q3 financial results. The president also announced today that two of the company’s directors – including famed video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto – will take a 30 per cent pay cut. Other board members will also have their salaries reduced by 20 per cent.
Earlier this month, the video gaming giant slashed its initial forecast sales for the Wii U and 3DS, admitting that it had a lower-than-expected outlook for its third quarterly financial results. Today, Nintendo has posted a loss of operating income equalling 1,578 million Yen ($15.3 million / £9.2 million / €11.2 million) and projects a future operating loss of up to 35 billion yen for its final financial quarter of the year. Our full report on Nintendo’s Q3 financial results will be published later today.
Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata has announced that the company needs to restructure its current business model, following a press conference in Osaka today. In light of Nintendo’s 2013-14 fiscal year cuts – which slashed the forecasted 9 million units down to 2.8 million units for the Wii U and 18 million units to 13.5 million units for the 3DS – Iwata has insisted that changes need to be made, though it’s not as simple “as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone”.
Earlier today, Iwata said he would not resign in the wake of its third annual consecutive loss, drilling home the point that he would restore business momentum as soon as possible. Now, the CEO hopes to back up his claims by introducing a new business structure, studying smart devices and the industry’s trends, Bloomberg reports. He added that any reshuffles in management were not planned for the near future, though announcements in pay cuts – if any – would be shared after the investor’s meeting at the end of this month.
“We are thinking about a new business structure. Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.
“We cannot continue a business without winning. We must take a skeptical approach [on] whether we can still simply make game players, offer them in the same way as in the past for 20,000 yen or 30,000 yen, and sell titles for a couple of thousand yen each.”
Satoru Iwata has remained adamant that he will see Nintendo through its financial crisis by continuing as the company’s president after its 2013-14 fiscal sales predictions fell short. Earlier today, Nintendo announced it had lowered its sales forecast for the Wii U and 3DS hardware and software, bringing its fiscal year predictions down from 9 million units to 2.8 million units for the Wii U and 18 million units to 13.5 million units for the 3DS.
But in a press conference today, as Nikkei reports, Iwata apologised to the company’s shareholders saying that he felt responsible for Nintendo’s poor business performance. However, he also reiterated that he would not resign, saying that the most important action was to restore business momentum as soon as possible.
In a press release published on Nintendo Japan’s website, Satoru Iwata explained that the company would post an ordinary income despite posting an operating loss, however, the CEO then said due to reversing deferred tax assets from losses carried over in previous fiscal years – mainly from the US – Nintendo expects to post a net loss of 25 billion yen against an initial projected income of 55 billion yen.
Nintendo is due to announce its third quarter 2013-14 fiscal year results on January 29, followed by an investor’s meeting on January 30, so we shall hear more on the company’s short-term and mid-term plans then. Now the news has had some time to digest, let us know how you feel about Iwata’s statement and Nintendo’s current position in the comments below.
In Iwata’s latest Q & A session, he was asked if the release of 2DS equates to an admission by Nintendo that the company took a wrong turn by incorporating 3D effects into its handheld console, a move that takes it out of the hands of very young players. In true Iwata fashion, he defended Nintendo’s intentions by explaining that the 2DS had been in development for some time, in order to coincide with the new Pokemon release.
He also cited A Link Between Worlds as an example of a new game that specifically caters to 3DS users by taking full advantage of the 3D effect. Here is Iwata’s full transcript detailing the reasons why he believes the release 2DS was an intelligent move, and that 2DS and 3DS can exist side by side:
“Launching Nintendo 2DS at this point in time requires its development work to have begun a long time ago. Generally speaking, it takes approximately one and a half years before we can bring a new hardware system onto the market, and we already realized beforehand that it would be difficult to maximize the sales potential of Nintendo 3DS without an entry-level product ready in time for the release of a new Pokémon title. Because we already knew that the range of price options for Nintendo 3DS was not sufficient in light of the highly appreciated yen at the time, we had been preparing for this launch.”
“Incidentally the yen is now somewhat depreciated and we are able to offer Nintendo 2DS without facing profitability problems. This is very fortunate considering our business structure. We are offering such an option in order to further propel the popularity of the Nintendo 3DS platform in the overseas markets.
“Nintendo 2DS is, however, simply one of the options for consumers and we will continue to offer the existing Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL platforms in the overseas markets, and we are not saying that we will abandon 3D or cease to make new propositions in 3D. The Legend of Zelda title that we are going to release toward the end of the year is a superb showcase of the 3D effect, featuring a top-down style and offering a new form of gameplay by taking advantage of the 3D effect vertically.”
Nintendo has announced that Wii Sports Club may eventually become packaged software. Although the sports game will initially be distributed exclusively through the Nintendo eShop for Wii U, company president Satoru Iwata said in a recent briefing that he won’t rule out the possibility of a retail release. Bowling and tennis will launch in the eShop as standalone titles this Thursday, November 7th.
Iwata: I do not deny the possibility that “Wii Sports Club” may become packaged software in the future. However, for the future of Wii U, we have prioritized releasing tennis and bowling by the end of this year.