Nintendo: Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata Is Apparently Out Of Touch With Consumers

Ian Baverstock from Tenshi Ventures recently took the stage at the Develop Conference in Brighton, England, and claimed that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is out of touch with consumers and has a rather draconian view of the video games industry.

“I just don’t agree. This lack of craftsmanship is really a reflection of Nintendo’s point of view – they are completely obsessed with retail, and have been very successful in that.”

“Ultimately for Mr Iwata to be able to sit there and say that we’re losing craftsmanship, we’re losing skills… at the same time that Minecraft comes out, sells millions and makes one man lots of money and creates a huge public buzz, is a shocking indictment of his view of the world that we all see.”

Baverstock went on to prophesy a “second great age of development” – the first being in the late ‘80s.

“We’re not very far away now from the beginnings of next generation [of technology] from Sony and Microsoft. I don’t know when that will come, but at that point… the idea that there are going to be many independent developers with either their own money, or even publishers money, making games on those platforms – there are going to be very, very few.”

“In the end, once you get past that preachy title of why developers need to change, the reason why I’m so riled by Mr. Iwata’s point of view is that fundamentally it’s smack talk: ‘You, Mr. Developer, stay in your box, you stay down there, we’ll do with this other stuff, you just carry on making games.’”

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55 thoughts on “Nintendo: Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata Is Apparently Out Of Touch With Consumers

    1. I will put it out there. This is a Sony love fest. It is not like the gdc it is trying to be that.

      Second there is no such thing as being in touch with customers because many don’t know what new games they will like.

      This guy is just painting him self into a corner. Every one knows you can’t please every one yet this guy claims he can.

      The cool thing about nintendo is they don’t work off of per praise they work off results. If some thing isn’t working then they change it, if they are getting boring they change it. It is actually really easy to get a nintendo dev kit yet it’s a lot harder to make a hit.

      Where is the next angry birds? No one is hype about business models unless it means games.

      Nintendo isn’t the problem it’s other inabilty to make a hit.

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  1. Meh, maybe a little bit true, but you can’t really argue with Nintendo’s business model. But yes, the market is changing (which is undoubtedly brilliant, what with indie hitting the big time) and it seems like bigger companies will have to adapt.

    Finally, why am I up this late?

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  2. When he says we’re losing skills, i’m guessing he’s looking at smartphone gaming and stuff where dev’s don’t put much into the games and then sell them for £0.59 or for free…

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  3. I see what his saying, I don’t completely agree. If nintendo is doing as has been reported, then they are working with developers for alot of stuff. But I fail to see how that is being “out of touch with consumers”.

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  4. Excuse me? Iwata is out of touch with consumers? Yeah, Mr. Baverstock apparently has not been to Capcom or he’d know what a real developer that’s out of touch with their consumers is like.

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  5. NOBODY WANTS TO PLAY REHASED GAMES AND OVERUSED CHARACTERS. NINTENDO GAMES ARE BECOMING TO EASY AND ITS FOR BABYS. EVEN THEIR STORYLINES ARE WEAK ITS EITHER MARIO SAVE PRINCESS OR ZELDA BROKEN TIMELINE. HELL THEY EVEN HAVE POOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT SKILL SAMUS, THANKS TO OTHER M, IS NOW A CRYBABY. ONLY NINTENTARDS THAT LIKE PLAYING BABY GAMES WITH KIDDIE STORYLINES ENJOY NINTENDO. HECK I EVEN HEARD SOME JUST BUY IT FOR THE NOSTALGIA SMH AND ITS A WONDER THEIR FORMULA ALONG WITH STORY TELLING ARE GETTING STALE. I GREW UP , IF I SAID I PLAY NINTENDO AT MY COLLAGE THEY’D LAUGH AND CALL ME A DORK FOR PLAYING WITH A TOY. SOME KID GOT CALLED A TOTAL LOSER FOR PLAYING WITH BABY GAMES OR CHEAP SINCE NINTY ABOUT MAKING CHEAP PLASTIC TOY CONSOLES.US

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    1. and nobody likes to read messages that were written with caps lock on. it disrupts the reading flow. it’s okay though. to make up for it, i made sure not to use any uppercase letters in mine, so it’s all good :P

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    2. So in other words, you want to play Nintendo games but don’t for fear of being bullied in college? I take it you’re in the school library right now trolling this page because someone walked pass and read the web address MyNintendoNews.com and panic set in. It’s okay, I understand. Just go back into the bathroom and play your DS quietly.

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    3. All my friends make fun of people that play Call of Duty. I mean, all you ever do is shoot people over and over and over and over and over and over and over and etc. :D (Sounds familiar doesn’t it.)

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    4. eddie, it’s your turn to ride….

      |^^^^^^^^^^^\||____
      | The STFU Truck |||””‘|””\__,_
      | _____________ l||__|__|__|)
      |(@)@)”””””””**|(@)(@)**|(@)
      “Get on the truck, and STF Up!”
      You know not of what you type, so stop typing.

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    5. You, my friend, are a dumbass. First of all, learn how to spell. Its hard to believe that someone who cant even spell “college” is in one. Ur probably like 10. Secondly, you cant argue with numbers. Nintendo is on top for a reason. Clearly the “baby games” formula is working. Looks like another sony/microsoft fanboy is shitting at the mouth. Nintendo ftw

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    6. @eddie
      It is certainly true that the weak are afraid and threatened by what they don’t or refuse to understand.
      Personally, I love how Nintendo is not the most respected video game company amongst the new generation of ‘interactive movie’ whores, mainly as I have no requirement for acceptance amid these lemmings. What ever they like, I hate, and this goes for all forms of media and current trends. If any of these mindless drones ever try to front on me for not fitting into their mold then they’re get cut, straight up and down. I have now issues with smacking the shit out these fools in the middle of the mall and in front of there mammas.
      @eddied

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    7. Playing call of duty and all other hardcore titles are way easier than mario and zelda and metroid. You don’t compare complicated platforming, puzzle solving, adventuring, 100% item search with shoot everything you see with a trigger button. It’s like holding your hand across the street with hardcore games.

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    8. you do not go to college stop lieing and grow the hell up your comment was just useless and you really need to chill the hell out!

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    9. You guys, our friend eddie the troll is actually right. Nintendo hasn’t come up with anything new in the past generation and coming generation. They seem to be running out of ideas, actually. Mario and Zelda games are all they offer, and it’s the same thing EVERY TIME. You can’t deny that. And he’s just calling casual games baby games, when sometimes they actually are. Just look at that big pink puffball Kirby, and tell me it doesn’t look like it should be rated EC(early childhood).

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  6. Either way u look at the speech the title of this post is true. All companys, not just nintendo, have lost touch with fans and consumers. We know what we want but the companies r what they THINK we want. Quite irritating really. I’m tired of seeing gret game series being canceled. I’m tired of seeing games that we deem will or should b great getting flushed for stupid reasons. I don’t know if its just me or what but everyone needs to uncover their heads and start listening to those that spend buku bucks ob the platforms and the games and accessories instead of their wallets.

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    1. I agree with you my good sir. Nintendo only cares about money. jesus either they know wiis full of shovel ware crap or they support it because moms like playing casual games. nintendo are sellouts for money. wii had great japanese rpgs that aren’t being relesed here. its like they want the wii to be garbage but hey as long as it sells right. ISN’T STREAMING GAMES TO SAVE ON SHIPPING AND DEV COST THE WHOLE REASON FOR WIIWARE. THEY CAN’T EVEN GIVE US JAPANESE GAMES VIA WIIWARE NOPE BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH IT WON’T COST A DIME THEY WOULD NOT MAKE A PROFIT. REGGIE HIMSELF SAYS THEY RELEASE GAMES ON KEY DATES FOR PROFITABLY. AM TIRED OF WAITING 10 YEARS FOR A COUPLE OF STELLER GAMES AM GETTING TO OLD AM BUYING A PS3 AT LEAST THEY RELEASE GOOD GAMES CONSTANTLY.

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  7. I have to agree with this, I sometimes feel Nintendo is stuck in it’s own little world, unaware of changes in the world and what the consumer wants. Don’t get me wrong, their work is a masterpiece

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    1. That’s because they never look at what the consumer wants and make stuff to fit it, they make stuff, and then make the consumer want it instead.

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      1. +yeah like virtual boy,3dsi,wii music or the vitality sensor yep nintendo knows what we want looks at wiis purposly region locked dvd locked shovel ware wii. take the ninty dick out your ass and grow up.

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      2. That would be an great strategy if we were at the industry begginings. But now players are more heterogeneous, there are more tecnology that can be apply in the industry and competition is stronger. With all this changes Nintendo can’t expect overcome the competition without listening to the consumers. I love Nintendo, i love their franchises, but they made me to buy a console to get only a few great games, poor online gaming and a poor third party support. The more time passes and Nintendo doesn’t listening to me, PS3 and Xbox 360 start to look better for me.

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  8. You know, I’ve got to agree and disagree with Mr. Iwata on those points. The reason why I agree with his points is that some developers have taken an easy route with making games (smartphone and iPhone games) and some developers are oversaturating their budgets when they develop games because they try to make their games look all pretty. I can even say this about FPS games these days because they really don’t do a whole lot to try and innovate the genre, and that most Western developers don’t try to think outside the box with their games when it comes to titles because of how easy FPS games have become to develop. Companies like Vigil Games (Darksiders), Bioware (Mass Effect & Dragon Age), and Netherrealm Studios (Mortal Kombat) have always stepped out of that norm when they develop their games because they aren’t trying to be the same as most developers, these days. I can also say their creativity is kinda lacking when you compare their games to something cartoonish like Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper, Jak & Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon. Most of the stuff that Western developers have done is make some games where characters look very realistic and kinda boring while Nintendo has been one of those people to bring in some creativity and art within their games. Hence, which is why we have games like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, Star Fox, Donkey Kong, Golden Sun, Fire Emblem, and the works. On that point, I agree where Mr. Iwata believes where the gaming trend has lost its creativity, these days.

    However, that doesn’t mean he gets away scot-free from that statement. What I most certainly disagree with is that Nintendo hasn’t been that successful for the last 3 console generations when it comes down to the Third-Party support from companies like Capcom, Konami, Square-Enix, Namco Bandai, Natsume, NIS America, Atlus, EA, Activision, Atari, and all the others out there. Nintendo hasn’t really been that successful in that faction because of Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi’s rude stature when he was still the President and CEO of Nintendo before the end of the Nintendo Gamecube and burning a lot of bridges that went over to other consoles. Plus, their technology hasn’t really caught on the eyes of Third-Parties to work really well as we have seen less of their content on Nintendo systems. However, we have seen a great deal of their content when it comes to the handhelds because of the simplicity of how games these days can be developed. Also, not a lot of killer 1st-Party titles release at a next-generation console’s launch, so Nintendo needs to put in some emphasis in getting some really great games out at launch in both the 1st-Party and 3rd-Party regions. So, the 1st-Party and 3rd-Party regions would need to work more closely with Nintendo if they hope that their next consoles will become a huge hit in the future.

    As you can see, I believe his current statement has both a point and counterpoint on the who situation. It’s nice that he wants to see companies try something new and creative with their games so they can try to get away from their old IPs at the moment, but what he has got to realize is that Nintendo would need to work closely with 3rd-Parties to ensure that great games will make it onto their future consoles and handhelds, down the line. Not to mention, do something about Nintendo of America’s marketing department as it needs a boost for their system, games, and the right direction where they need to be.

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  9. I do agree that they should start some sort of development for download only. However, not all downloadable games are good as most people refer to. There was that IOs app where you’re peeing. I think that was sold for $0.99. That kind of stuff is an embarrassment to developers who really want to expand the medium. Also, a lot of people still prefer physical media and the art boxes. Downloadable games are good, but they’re not good enough with our current Internet infrastructure. I’m aware of fiber optic and faster Internet connections, but it’s not available in most places. Some places only offer dial-up while others have to deal with bandwidth caps. That is only for connections. Imagine if you had to download every game to your hard drive? How many hard drives would you need? Games in HD are becoming bigger and bigger. Games like L.A. Noire I think use 3 xbox 360 discs. Metal Gear 4 uses 1 dual-layered blu-ray disc (50GBs), and that’s only after so much compression. Also, with more popular titles, people would want to get the game as soon as possible. Even with the fastest connection, it would take you for ever to download something that a lot of people are downloading at the same time. Anyone remember when the PSN came back online this year? It showed error messages and stuff not because it was still bad, but because everyone wanted to access it at the same time even if it was per region. The level of traffic was too high. That’s basically what would happen with a good game.

    I’m all for downloadable games; I’m just against making it downloadable-only. Also, some developers release games like Angry Birds and then they think that they now have the right to say whatever they want, including the death of consoles. Other developers work hard to make a good game, but they are left in the dark because it’s difficult to distinguish themselves from the sea of titles out there like with phone games. How many of those games have really hit the jackpot compared to retail games? That’s my point.

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  10. You know, this speech makes a lot more sense if you actually read what Iwata said. You’re only getting one side of the story with this post, so it may be confusing to some of you what he’s talking about.

    In any case, I agree with him. I don’t like the way Nintendo has been treating small and indie developers, and talking down to us like we’re lower than the rest of the industry, or that we don’t count / are worthless. I’ll tell you what, the indie scene has a helluva lot more creativity than most of the garbage the “mainstream” games industry has been churning out this generation. He also is one to talk, seeing as Nintendo themselves have been selling small games for cheap ever since the DSi was released.

    Hypocrite. >_>

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  11. Like I’m gonna pay any mind to some random chump with frosted tips who works for a newly founded investment and consulting company. Plus all the games put out by Kuju are utter rubbish.
    Ian, you ain’t shit.
    Pfft… UK… keep sucking off the US… Japan owns.

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  12. Just to point out a few things here. In regards to downloadable titles, I don’t prefer them because of the lack of tradeability and lendability; however, when done right they can be an excellent means for a developer to avoid the cost of distribution. They no longer have to pay the brick and mortar stores for a spot on the shelf and they can use these tight resources to better focus on the game.

    You might point out a peeing app for iOS but I can point out all the shovelware that the Wii has. I can point out all the movie tie ins that are constrained due to time causing a game that is lauckluster with the only goal of being a quick cash in. I can also point out yearly rehases that add nothing truly new to the series (Sports games in particular). Furthermore, Nintendo added in the ability to download old games to the Wii. I call BS because growing up I purchased all of those games and Nintendo is expecting me to again pay for these games. The point is, while there are games that lower the standard in any marketplace you can not define the entire market like that. Braid on 360, Dungeon Defenders on Android, Fruit Ninja on Ios. All of these games are great titles that fit their marketplace well.

    On the topic of the size of video games, what you mentioned about games running 50 GBs is size is debateable. What makes games like Metal Gear Solid and Blue Dragon ( I will not comment on LA Noire because I don’t know) so big are uncompressed 1080P video. Compare to a game like Gears or Halo where they use the more thancapable in game engine to render the cuts scenes and the size of the games drastically shrinks. Also, in terms of downloading these games, They are working on ways of streaming in the portion of the games that you need as you reach it. No need to download the 5.1 Surround sound BGM from the 40th hours of Final Fantasy until you are about to reach there right?

    Overall, Nintendo has lost a lot of respect from me in the past few years. They are a company followin the money and that is to be expected, I can not hold them to the same level that I hold the goverment for example. I tend to be angry because they have taken a path that is divergent from my own. A wide marketplace of downloadable titles, no matter how small, allows me to have a steady stream of games to play. Who cares if I play 10 1 hours games instead of 1 10 hours game.

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  13. Dont moan, just make good games. Seriously you arent supposed to be friends with eachother, just deliver some good quality entertainment to us, preferably on Nintendo consoles….

    If you b*tch Iwata or say “next technology” of M or S, what do you want to provoke? No help from the big N? Without her, there moves since the 80’s, we would still be playing pong….or at least, HD pong if its M or S….nothing more…

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  14. And what exactly has this guy made? Never heard of him or his company.

    Just looks like he promoted a game to Nintendo and they told him no.

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  15. Nintendo isnt out of touch with consumers. They are out of touch with the industry. While Sony and Microsoft are trying to directly fight each other and nintendo, Nintendo is pretty much going, “Hey, you guys over there, be quiet, I think I got this walking on water thing down.”

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  16. you look at the majority of indie games that exist out there..especially in the cell phone and browser game market…and you’ll see that “loss in craftsmanship”….you dont pluck out the one percent of games that turn out to be the exception and make that your argument…there will always be exceptions…to base your opinion on those is ridiculous

    i dont have anything against indie developers or games…they are great..and they have their place in the market…whats troubling is that because of the success of a few of those games…and costing as cheaply as they do…people are now starting to argue that all games should be priced much cheaply…….those games are just that…games…i consider the types of games that come out on consoles as a virtual experience…….

    i’ll compare it to a shows and movies….there can be great shows….but very few can be as epic and as deep as some of the better movies out there…..they are two different experiences…i think its admirable that nintendo stands up for how they do things…because if the industry were to shift to what is happening in the indie seen…we would just have much lower quality titles as a whole…not everyone is content with playing app type games

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  17. when has an indie game ever produced a title like Mario Galaxy….or twilight princess…..or even donkey kong country for the wii…which isnt even a huge big budget title compared to the previous two i mentioned…

    how about drakes fortune…halo….
    From what i gather…iwata is fighting against the idea that the industry should shift in terms of pricing to whats currently happening in the indie scene….but in order to do that..your gonna lose the budgets to create these amazing games we currently play…..and we arent just talking hd graphics here taking up budgets….for the most part these games are decidedly more complex than these indie games….when you lose the budgets..you will also lose the man power to make games as complex as what we see out there now…..you cant expect to pay a buck or two for a game and get the experience you get of a drakes fortune…red dead redemption…or modern warfare

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  18. Dudee bring back a controller and mabye I’ll buy a wii but really man your the only gaming consol with out one not everyone wants to prance around to play your games.

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