Nintendo President “Does Not See A Dark Future”
Not as long as you continue to produce Pokemon, Zelda, Mario, rinse, repeat. We saw just recently how much money the release of a new Pokemon game rakes in for Nintendo. Despite whatever derogatory adjective you might attach to the Wii U, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata assured investors in a recent Q&A article that the company’s future is anything but dark.
The gaming industry is a fickle place, for sure. We’ve seen that with some companies taking financial hits. THQ has fallen, Square Enix is trying to turn their descent around and even Ubisoft has written off this fiscal year, pushing the potential cash injection that Watch Dogs will bring to 2014. Nintendo might not be there yet and hopefully they don’t end up there but there have been persisting rumours regarding downsizing to which Iwata answered:
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“We need a company with a lot of muscle, but a company that also has no excess fat — one that makes smart spending decisions.”
That said, Iwata repeated his stance that, “Restructuring the workforce is not the first option we consider even when cost cutting is required.”
Iwata added, “I would like you to understand that this is because we do not see a dark future for Nintendo.”
When asked how Nintendo hopes to meet its ¥100 billion operating income projection by the end of the financial year, he replied, “I believe that my ultimate responsibility is to maximize the long-term corporate value of Nintendo. That is how I view my role, but on the other hand, I am not saying that the current financial forecast has become unattainable. As I remarked just a while ago, the annual financial performance of a video game company rests heavily upon its success in the year-end sales season.
“There would of course be a significant difference between the most optimistic and the most pessimistic scenarios. This is the inevitable fate of any video game company, and even if one may hope it to be more foreseeable, we operate in an environment where it is impossible to know the outcome of a product we have produced until consumers have tried it for themselves.
“What is more, how players influence the value of our products and turn them into hit titles through interacting with each other, and thereby creating buzz in society, is simply beyond our reach. All we can do is offer the best entertainment that we can and do our best to motivate our consumers to talk about our products, but there is inevitably a fair degree of uncertainty in our performance. Therefore, I do not think that it is the right time to change our financial forecast.”
With its stalwart franchises continuing to bring in money, Nintendo’s future is propped up most by its handheld market. The Wii U continues to sell albeit poorly and one has to wonder if it will be part of the fat that gets trimmed if Nintendo is to reach its goal. The benefit versus loss of dropping the Wii U is something they’d of course have to consider but with publishers and developers alike taking no interest in the console, where does its future lie? Especially with next-gen upon us.