On the one hand I agree that it is laughable that the stockholder tries to give Iwata suggestions on how to be President, especially on top of all the other stupid questions that got asked (seriously does Iwata pick who gets to interview him or what?). But on the other hand there is the simple fact that the stockholder actually triedto give Iwata suggestions on how to do his job, and that’s a bad sign for Iwata’s future as president of Nintendo.
A few years go NOBODY would have dared done this. And why would they? Nintendo was still doing pretty good. But today that’s not the case. The stockholder giving Iwata suggestions could just be an anomaly. But it could also be a manifestation of an overall sentiment that the investors are having towards Nintendo’s developers in light all the financial damage that has been done to them thanks to the 3DS (and the underwhelming software that they have put out like 3D Mario or Aonuma Zelda). We know for a fact that Iwata had to admit to investors that Nintendo was abandoning the Blue Ocean and disruption strategies. Why? He tap-danced and bullshit around the issue but at the end of the day, he may as well have said: ”We’re doing it because our developers want to.” If the investors can see that 2D Mario moves software and 3D Mario does not, then I don’t think it’s a stretch to guess that they may be putting 2 and 2 together and seeing that when Nintendo did what it needed to do in order to become more mainstream, they were successful, but when Nintendo did what it wanted to do the company’s success started to rapidly decline. Furthermore while the E3 presentation was hard to keep up with and confounding for anyone that wanted to know more about Nintendo’s direction with the Wii U, I wonder if the investors are feeling the same way. If we as customers are having a hard time trying to pin down the path Nintendo wants to take the Wii U down, then it’s probably just as annoying for the investors as well, depending on what Nintendo is telling them out of earshot of the public.
To me it’s pretty obvious to interpret the investor saying “I have suggestions.” as really meaning “I/We are losing confidence in your ability to guide this company to success.” The fact that it got said in the open in an interview is pretty bad. If I were Iwata I’d be feeling embarrassed that a seemingly clueless investor has so little confidence in his leadership that even THEY feel that they can do better than him. I have a feeling that if Nintendo doesn’t show a clear agenda of combating disinterest and trying to maintain market growth with the Wii U that the investors are going to pull the trigger on Iwata. ”Who would replace him?” At this point putting a rotting turnip in charge of Nintendo would be a drastic improvement over who we have right now. Hell, maybe they could go fetch Nolan Bushnell. That’d be a hell of an irony (and of course it wouldn’t happen);
I do think the guy that is over Mario Kart would make a vastly better general manager than Miyamoto. His approach to Mario Kart has been one of trying to make Mario Kart perform its job better for the market, and it’s been a very successful approach for him and the series. The only real hiccup has been with 7 but really the 3DS is so abhorrent that even 2D Mario is likely not going to salvage that piece of shit, so you can’t really blame him for that. But having a job-oriented general manager and a stricter, it’s-time-to-roll-up-our-sleeves-and-get-our-hands-dirty type of President who is more interested in pleasing the market instead of the whims of its developers would be a good way to rebound from the bullshit-spewing bunch we have in charge right now.
Excellent email. You make an excellent point and communicate it well. As I understand, Yamauchi and the Board own and control the company. Iwata answers to them.One reason Nintendo may be in the red is all this crazy construction Iwata is doing. NOA got a new building. NCL got a new building. No wonder the shareholder got lost.
-It’s clear there is big pressure from the business side to make more 2d Mario. 2d Mario on the 3DS was announced at a financial briefing. A new Super Mario Brothers deserves an outing like Video Armageddon:
Above: This is how a new 2d Mario should be presented to the world.
-The 3DS may have done to Miyamoto what the Virtual Boy did to Gunpei Yokoi. His “retirement” means he won’t be a mover and shaker within the company. Miyamoto also designed the 3DS hardware.
-The Japanese see losing money far more harshly than Westerners do. Nintendo is also especially proud of its strong financials. Being at a loss for the first time is not just ‘bad’ for Iwata but ‘ejection seat bad’.
-The problem with a game developer as president is that he lets game developers do whatever they want. How in the world did Metroid Other M get greenlit? Oh well, at least we got a cool commercial from it.
Above: This commercial is more entertaining than the video game.
Remember with the Wii how Nintendo declared their competition to be other forms of entertainment (such as books or movies)? Nintendo’s handhelds do face a serious threat from smartphones and ipads but not in the form of gaming. If given a choice, do I watch Netflix on the iPad or play with the 3DS? Do I browse the web on the Kindle or play with the 3DS? Nintendo has never had to compete with non-game entertainment on handhelds before. Perhaps the reason why Nintendo’s handheld business is strong is, as people say, due to lack of competition. But not from other gaming handhelds.
If given a choice of playing Aonuma Zelda or reading a book on Kindle, I choose the book every time. If given a choice between playing 3d Mario or watching Netflix on a smartphone, I choose the smartphone every time. Why doesn’t Nintendo start making more fun game to compete against other media?
Oh, that’s right. They were more interested in pursuing the dreams of 3d gaming. If Nintendo released a handheld that removed the 3d output aspects (but could play the 3DS games flat), the hardware would be much cheaper and all of Nintendo’s problems would be solved overnight. Instead, we get a 3DS XL so we can see the 3d more clearly. Ugh.
Above: This is what the 3DS represents to me: a portable N64 complete with N64′s mission statement that ’3d is everything and the only thing. Screw you Old School Gamers.’”