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Apple’s Tim Cook And Microsoft’s Don Mattrick More Powerful In The Games Industry Than Satoru Iwata?

Online gaming publication Kotaku has posted what they believe to be the 40 most powerful people in the video games industry. Surprisingly Kotaku has placed Apple CEO Tim Cook and also Xbox Chief Don Mattrick above industry stalwart Satoru Iwata. It’s certainly an interesting list that’s bound to cause plenty of controversy amongst its online readership. Here’s the top forty most powerful people in the games industry at the moment:

  1. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
  2. Don Mattrick, Microsoft’s Xbox Chief
  3. Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo
  4. Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard
  5. Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard
  6. Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook
  7. Kaz Hirai, Sony Executive Vice President
  8. Gabe Newell, Boss of Valve Software
  9. John Riccitiello, CEO of EA
  10. Eric Bright, Wal-Mart Game-Buyer
  11. Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder
  12. Paul Raines, Used GameStop CEO
  13. Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of Take Two
  14. Mark Rein, Epic Games Vice President
  15. Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft Boss
  16. Sam and Dan Houser, The Brothers Rockstar
  17. Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, Who Invented Minecraft
  18. Ken Levine, Leader of Irrational Games
  19. Mark Pinkus, Zynga Czar
  20. Shigeru Miyamoto, Lead Game Designer at Nintendo
  21. Robert Altman, Head of Zenimax
  22. Robert Khoo, Penny Arcade Maestro
  23. Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia
  24. Daniel Kim, CEO of Nexon
  25. Jason Rohrer, Developer of Unusual Video Games
  26. Ophir Lupu, Video Game Agent, UTA
  27. Yoichi Wada, CEO of the Square-Enix-Eidos Empire
  28. Michel Guillemot, CEO of Gameloft
  29. Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent
  30. Andrew Wilson, Head of EA Sports
  31. Martin Tremblay, President of Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
  32. Meggan Scavio, Director of the Game Developers Conference
  33. Brian J. Dunn, CEO of Best Buy
  34. Yoshikazu Tanaka, Founder of Gree
  35. Min-Liang Tan, Creative Director of Razer
  36. Jane McGonigal, Optimistic Game Designer
  37. Michael Gallagher, President of the Entertainment Software Association
  38. Naotoshi Zin , CEO of From Software
  39. Ryozo Tsujimoto, Capcom Hit-Maker
  40. Peter Vesterbacka, Chief Angry Birds Marketing Officer

157 thoughts on “Apple’s Tim Cook And Microsoft’s Don Mattrick More Powerful In The Games Industry Than Satoru Iwata?”

        1. Yes… because Steve Jobs retiring from the CEO position had nothing at all to do with his declining health. If it wasn’t for his sickcness, Steve Jobs would of continued being CEO.

      1. Wii U Mad bro?

        How about you wait for your already dying Vita to be released OR you can try to do damage control like every other Vita fan who are trying to say Japan isn’t important because they refuse to buy unsupported hardware.

    1. I agree w/ the list. Thnx to Iwata’s failure, Nintendo employee salaries were cut and Nintendo lost million$. Fucking stupid ass rushing out the 3dsi and overpricing rehashed cheap garbage that can’t even play utube, ridiculous at a $250 pricetag! It can’t even get its own 3d tech right. The 3d not only drains the garbage by a lot, but it also doesn’t work unless you play dead center, and not moving at all. Which is IMPOSSIBLE to do if you’re playing w/ tight controls & playing MarioKart7 or Playing Ocarina of time for the 30th time. You end up w/ blurry double vision. Dumbass couldn’t even add a second analog stick. I guess $elling it apart wa$ more convinient? 3ds is garbage. It should be priced at 130 considering it has almost nothing out of the ordinary to offer aside from underdeveloped 3d crap tech. Iwata should be at #10.

      1. Well at least he still placed him at #10 instead of not placing him on the list at all which means he still thinks that Iwata is more powerful in video games than 40 others mentioned. Despite all that hate comment you still love Nintendo. Tsundere ninty

      2. WTF? Dude…..get a life. Everything you said was wrong or fixed. Allow me to dissect this.

        – “overpricing rehashed cheap garbage that can’t even play utube,”

        -“The 3d not only drains the garbage by a lot, but it also doesn’t work unless you play dead center, and not moving at all.”

        That’s how it works…..duh. It’s not exactly hard to do. Just sit down and play. If you don’t want to do that, turn it off.

        “Which is IMPOSSIBLE to do if you’re playing w/ tight controls & playing MarioKart7 or Playing Ocarina of time for the 30th time.”

        Wow…..Like I said if you don’t want to, turn it off. And what exactly is wrong with playing OoT 30 times?

        “Dumbass couldn’t even add a second analog stick. I guess $elling it apart wa$ more convinient?”

        … comment.

        “Iwata should be at #10.”

        Buddy, you just go ahead and believe that okay?

    1. Guys, apparently Facebook is a video game if Mark Zuckerburg is so high up there… Seriously though, why is he #6 in this list? How do you rate a person’s power in a company anyway, wouldn’t all CEOs basically have the same amount of power in their own seperate company? (I’m sure in this list it all comes down to money, but c’mon!) And I reluctantly say this as a Nintendo fan, but I’m also surprised to see no Sony people until #7. Hopefully a big, hilarious joke.

    1. Yes he is. Remember that he’s just a game designer. If we would have talked about the most important persons so would he probably be higher on the list, but he has not as much power as many thinks…

    1. Hey your face looks familiar. I think I saw you shopping in Target one time. I was standing right behind you in line, and I asked if I could skip because I was in a rush to visit my aunt in the hosputal. We only made a brief conversation, but you were being a dick. You didn’t let me skip because you were in a rush to go home. And for what? To sit your lazy ass down, eat, watch T.V.? All you think about is yourself. What a terrible human being you are. I hope life puts you in a similar situation, snd no one lends you a hand.

      One word: KARMA.

      1. WTF? My “face” is a cartoon. Also: I’ve never set foot in a “Target” store in my life, so obviously, you have me confused with someone else. :|

        Oh, and I just back-traced your I.P. Address. I know who you are. You’re that same bastard that always writes in ALL CAPS on this site. Nice try, troll. :P

    1. I agree. Miyamoto & Iwata should always be #1 no matter what. Even if they fail sales-wise and fail to meet peoples’ expectations.

      1st the Gaming industry, then the market, then… THE WORLD!!!


      1. How do they Fail sales wise you talking out your ass now please go away.
        Go play Uncharted on the Vita the tag line for that game should be “Touch The Screen and It Beats Itself!”

        1. Virtual Boy, N64DD, Mario’s Missing, Zelda Cdi + more. Quit pulling shit out YOUR ASS. Why don’t you go play Kirby’s epic yawn — a game even the mentally retarded can beat, ya don’t die anyways. >_>

  1. Makes sense. Outside of Japan and fanboys, no one knows who Iwata is. They just know “Nintendo” most people in the world know who Steve jobs is and by extension know who cook is just as “Steve jobs replacement”

    The Microsoft guy I dont agree with…. No one cares about him….

    1. Bullshit, this list is more of a popularity list than anything, and thats what your defining aswell, some of these CEO’s havent developed or worked on a game so they shouldnt even be on this list.

      if by power they mean money wise, then i agree, but if thats the case, then just call it the richest men in Video game industry.

        Ok. Shits getting serious…
        ♪♪♪Go, go Nintendo Rangers
        *du, du, duu, duu*
        Go, go Nintendo Rangers
        *du, du, duu, duu*
        Go, Go Nintendo Rangers! It’s Mighty Morphin Nintendo Rangeeeeeerssssss!♪♪♪♪

    2. I would mostly agree. Up until the Wii debuted, I had no idea who the heck Satoru Iwata was, nor had I had any reason to care.

  2. The girl who has no influence in “gaming” on Facebook is not more powerful than the guy who invented Mario, Zelda and whatever else.

  3. What a nintendo employee is not number 1! BULL!!! If nintendo is not #1 then its wrong!!!!…
    Really guys are you serious. First of all it’s an opinion. Second you have to look at it from other peoples perspective. Seriously nintendo is not the most influential/important thing that has ever happened to the world. This is coming from a nintendo fan

    1. Nintendo is not the most influent thing in todays video game industry? Sir, are you kidding me? Nintendo revived the industry when it was dying and it’s the only company who do new stuff and invent new ways to play. Yes, top 20 is good. But I get those who’re annoyed about Apple being on top, what have Apple done for the industry? Nothing! What have x-box done? Nothing eighter but being the first HD console in the market. What have Nintendo done? Revived the industry in the mid 80s, created many of the most well known game franchises, best selling systems ever. And ofcorse the Wii’s motion control. And if someone wants to argue about that… Power glove was before any of the systems you’ll probably bring up and it use technology simular to the Wii. Problem was: It sucked, games back then wasn’t really made for it. And that’s some of the reasons why people is annoyed. And all sane beings know that the most games for iPhone sucks harder than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the NES…

      1. But this list is who has the most POWER in the gaming industry. Are you saying that if the appstore was not shut down it would not have an affect. I pesonally think iwata should be at least 2 but it’s a toss up after that. Plus it’s an OPINION not a fact. Why are people actually MAD the ONE website made a list on THEIR OPINION. If people are that butthurt make your own damn list! (not talking to you directly)

      2. Ya know it seems like apple is becoming the nintendo of now adays. They are the ones that have people ready and wanting to buy there products more then any other company right now. So just accept the fact that you cant do fuck all to change it and see where it goes into the future.

  4. agree with top, not with second, whilst highly influential in western countries, the xbox has not been as influential in the east. As this is the world, Miyamoto and Iwata are highly influential and powerful, they should be placed second and third. Call of duty (not a fan) developers should also be high, simply because they have single-handedly destroyed the respectable gaming community .
    Oh how i miss the platforming era

  5. apple moves a lot of money but does nothing good for the industry of video gaming, unless you consider good brining down the quality of games and selling tons of shovelware instead

            1. So does weight lifting, but i doubt any of them can bench 200lbs , the reason people are mad is because of how they phrased it. they failed to define power and it just seems to look like flame bait.

  6. Why the FUCK is the Facebook dipshit higher than Miyamoto!?!?!?!?!?!? Did he bring gaming back to America after it almost DIED!?!?!?!?! NO HE DID NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. That was in the 1980’s dude. Welcome to 2012.

      Miyamoto has plenty of power within Nintendo, but he still answers to Iwata. Iwata controls how and when products are developed, released and supported. He is the final word at Nintendo and that makes him very powerful.

      In the same way, the CEO of Apple is responsible for all things Apple. This includes the App Store, iPhones, et al. Apple has a much, much bigger presence than Nintendo in terms of market footprint and finances. It’s only logical that the CEO of Apple is more powerful than Iwata.

      1. If Nintendo didn’t bring gaming back to popularity here in the states, you wouldn’t even HAVE your precious App/Facebook games.

        1. How does that relate to now. Stop being a fanboy. I’m a nintendo fan but there are other factors that come into it

              1. Nintendo actually saved gaming in the mid 80’s. No, apple is not so powerful. The industry would suffer more TODAY without Nintendo than without app store.

              1. Simple, the stupid people who made the list assume companies like Apple and fucking Facebook assume they are more deserving than ACTUAL VIDEO GAME COMPANIES in a list about power in the VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY.

                    1. The correct post should read “Simple, the stupid people who made the list assume companies like Apple and fucking Facebook are more deserving than ACTUAL VIDEO GAME COMPANIES in a list about power in the VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY.” Better?

  7. I sorry but this list must be a money thing. All because one company has the most money does not automatically make it the most powerful. Its how much of an impact they could have as well. At the end of the day Nintendo once saved gaming and has the power to change *the game* which they have done multiple times. Tim? really?

    Put any popular app game like angry birds, make it into a full retail game that sell lets say only $20. Put that against a new mario that would sell for the same price and see what happens. Apple has done a fraction to gaming than what nintendo has. hell even sony has done more.
    Iwata should be #1. Nuff said
    And notch higher than miyamoto? really? did an analyst right this? That one fact automatically makes this list invalid.

      1. You’re both talking influence, not power. They are different things. Influence indirectly affects the industry over a matter of time. Power implies that a person or company has the ability to completely change the landscape in a much shorter amount of time.

        Nintendo can push motion controls and the industry will pick up on the trend in 4 or 5 years. That’s an influence.

        Microsoft can purchase 100’s of indie developers and either expand them or shut them down in a matter of months. That is power.

        Apple and Microsoft have the means that, frankly, Nintendo doesn’t. They are more than video game companies; they have many other divisions that almost guarantee their livelihood. They have more money, more staff, and more power.

        1. Microsoft is the only one i would consider a video game company out of the top 2. Where’s Apple’s dedicated game console? Oh yeah, it flopped :) When Apple stops making “Mobile Games” and makes a successful dedicated video game console, THEN they will be part of the video game industry.

        2. If you go with that argument, then Sony should be higher since is more than a video game company, and in that list it was beaten by blizzard, who is just a videogame company.

          1. I was only talking about Microsoft and Apple, but what you said makes no sense. Blizzard makes video games, Sony makes video games, both are video game companies. Apple doesn’t qualify because they make bullshit, tiny, boring after 5 minutes, “things” that they DARE call “Video Games”. Angry Birds is the only “App game” i’ve downloaded on my iPhone and i haven’t played it in MONTHS because i have MUCH better games to play on my Wii and 3DS.

          2. I didn’t make the list so I can’t explain every discrepancy. I’d wager Mr. Hirai is only number 7 because of the missteps with the PSN. I don’t have information regarding stocks and profits, etc, but from what I understand Sony as a company is more profitable than Microsoft (which makes sense: Microsoft doesn’t produce cameras, televisions, and full-length motion pictures).

            I’m going to assume the list considered only Sony Computer Entertainment, for which Kaz is Chairman (he’s also president of Consumer Products & Services Group, which gives him even more power). Personally, I’d rank him a bit higher than what they did.

        3. You pretty much strengthened my point. There are different elements that equate power. 2 Of them is knowledge and influence. Nintendo had both. They did change the industry with in a short amount of time. You need power to save an industry and change it. If your influence and wisdom is too weak, then so is your power, because it is your power.

  8. The heck does Mark Zuckerburg do? He does not belong on this list, idc if he created Facebook, It’s not even a real place to game!

    Miyamoto is more badass that all other video game industry contributers combined. Apple? Really kotaku, apple? They need to specify what terms of power they’re talking about. Maybe they’re reffering to authority(of job positions) or maybe this is just a list of results from a poll, otherwise they clearly don’t know shit about gaming.

    1. Etecoons and Dachoras

      “…otherwise they clearly don’t know shit about gaming.”

      Agreed. It’s Kotaku’s top 40 list, which basically means “biased.”

  10. I’m sorry but that list is totally incorrect. If anyone should be at the top it should be Shigeru, He’s been making games since the early 80’s! (1981 to be exact). Tim is the CEO of Apple. He develop games in the slightest. In fact Apple don’t make any games at all, they just design OS’s for their own products.

    What a load of tosh this is…

    1. Your apology is accepted.

      I’d like to point out that this is a monthly list. It is a super-current list, so drop the 1980’s business since it counts for nothing here. I’d also like to point out that you don’t have to develop games to be counted as “powerful” in the industry. Iwata does not currently develop games, but he’s Miyamoto’s boss and therefor outranks him. Tim is Apple’s CEO, so he picks the people who decide which apps make it to the app store. He’s in a pretty powerful seat.

    1. They are more groundbreaking, possibly because they’re actually relevant. Those three franchises you’ve named are losing relevance by the day, and Nintendo seriously isn’t doing much to change that. No matter how good their recent games may have been, Nintendo’s influence has shrunk big time. It’s a bit upsetting, actually.

  11. Kinda depends on how they define powerful…

    In my opinion, Tim Cook should not be on the first place.
    He has no power on the video game industry. If he died, someone else would just become the new CEO of Apple, and according to Kotaku, would immediately be the most powerful person on the industry…

    What they -should- measure, is how important each of those names are as persons for video game industry.
    I mean, let’s take Notch and Gabe Newell as examples. If they both decided to stop working on video game industry, I’m sure, that it would affect the industry quite a lot more, than if Cook decided to step out… Therefore Notch and Gabe should definitely rank higher than Tim…

    Get my point? :p

    All though, if they measured these as how much power each -company- has, then it would sound more believeable. But they should spell it A-p-p-l-e. Not C-o-o-k :p

    1. To quote the list.

      “Eric Bright isn’t a familiar name to most gamers—nor should he be. As the Senior Buyer for all video game software at Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, Bright is the single point of entry to a wide swatch of customers, especially in the parts of the country where Wal-Mart is the only electronics retailer.”

      Seriously folks, if you want justification or explanation read the website.

          1. Just read the first 14, for some reason i can’t find the other 26, how do i read the rest? or did they not make them yet?

  12. Why don’t people understand that apple is not a gaming company and all their money comes from smartphone apps? “Apps” as in “Applications?”

  13. That’s interesting. It’s sorta easy to imagine though,even though Nintendo is so powerful. If only he were the most powerful…I can see why they put Apple first, it makes phones, computers, and other stuff, but Miyamoto should be at least 5th and Iwata should be at least 2nd. Nintendo is the best after all… Who brought motion control, touch screen, 3D gaming(in more than one way), and has dominated the Video Gaming charts for 26 1/2 years with SMB and Wii Sports, Wii Play, Mario, Zelda, and Wii Sport Resort? And even now, even though people say it is a “dying company”,it’s hitting over 4 million sales of the 3DS in America and Japan(I’m not sure how many have sold in UK, but it’s still a lot).And that is just the 3DS. That doesn’t include Nintendo’s best selling home console, the Wii. They have a future and millions of fans. Iwata and Miyamoto should be at least 1 and second. Although I do understand why Apples in first, Cook represents a great man, and is not great, and who the heck had heard of that Xbox guy anyway?

  14. Etecoons and Dachoras

    It’s Kotaku’s top 40 list. Therefore, it has no basis, merit, or relevance. It’s just someone’s opinion at Kotaku.

    Speaking of Kotaku, I’m liking them less and less lately. I remember when I vowed never to visit,, and again, and it’s starting to seem like Kotaku is going to join those websites.

    Anyone else feel this way too?

  15. Numbers 1 shud be peteriusss.cos im the onlys one who knows about games.ands all that disagrees wiv me are trolls.Nintendo FTW gyes.

    1. PS, as it ain’t on here yet – demos are coming to the 3DS in Europe tomorrow! It’ll start with Resident Evil: Revelations and Cooking Mama 4 but in the next few weeks we’ll get to try Mario and Sonic At the London 2012 Olympic Games, Rhythm Thief and The Emperor’s Treasure and – best of all – Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D. Canny wait.

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  17. Most powerful person in the video game industry? That’s a pretty… tough thing to make a list about. Not trying to be mean, but about half the people on this list, practically speaking are not that influential at all, let alone ‘powerful’. Should hardly any software makers be included? Maybe not, they’re not quite that ‘powerful’ as far as control and influence in the industry goes. And the CEO’s of Apple and Walmart? Do they really count as ‘games industry’? If you’re counting them, you might as well count whoever’s Microsoft’s CEO as well, since they’re responsible for more than just the Xbox. And Walmart? Not sure if that’s influential games industry wise outside the US, they’ve got no presence whatsoever in quite a few countries and in others likely don’t factor that high into overall game sales.

    So a flawed list, definitely.

  18. fuck this whole list. the gaming Media doesn’t know shit when comes to History. Iwata basically cut HIS OWN Paycheck for the sake of the whole Company and Apologizes to all the Nintendo consumers! how is he not first!? stupid i tell you.

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