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Iwata, Miyamoto Take Pay Cuts to Atone for Nintendo's Woes

The Nintendo president, their most well-known game designer and several others have taken hefty pay cuts.

By Pete Davison. Published 2 months ago

Despite strong 3DS and software sales, Nintendo is struggling.

So much so, that Nintendo expects to make a loss this financial year, based primarily on poor sales of the struggling Wii U console.

Nintendo's troubles led many commentators and analysts to call for Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's head, but the man himself quickly quashed such talk by saying he had no intention of stepping down. He has, however, announced that he will take a temporary 50 per cent pay cut in response to the company's current issues.

Alongside Iwata, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto is taking a 30 per cent wage reduction along with fellow director Genyo Takeda, and the seven other members of the company's board will all take a 20 per cent pay cut, according to a report from AFP.

I Googled "Mario coins" to find some appropriate artwork for this article, and now I can NEVER SLEEP EVER AGAIN.

Iwata was quoted earlier in the month as saying that "my duty, more than anything else, is to revive our business momentum." During times of business results coming in below expectations, it is not altogether unusual for Japanese executives to take pay cuts in this manner -- whereas in the West it is often seemingly more common to see executives cut loose, perhaps with a healthy severance package in many cases.

Nintendo has faced criticism from some quarters for remaining stubbornly focused on its own hardware and seemingly not entertaining the possibility of developing as a third party for other platforms, or for exploring the massive smartphone and tablet market. However, Iwata noted that a management policy conference, due to take place tomorrow, will explore the question of how to utilize smart devices.

This doesn't mean that Nintendo will definitely be developing games or other apps for smartphones, however; despite Japanese newspaper Nikkei reporting earlier this week that the company was gearing up to support its falling financials with mini-games for smart devices, these claims were promptly refuted a day later by a Nintendo spokesperson. Nintendo's smartphone strategy will likely remain unclear until the meeting has transpired and a strategy for recovery has been put in place to appease investors and shareholders.

Iwata and the other board members will draw their reduced salaries for five months between February and June, and after that Iwata will make a decision on whether or not their wages will return to normal "after looking at the management situation at that time."

The best community comments so far 9 comments

  • Critical_Hit 2 months ago

    I. Love. This. Policy.

    Every damn time I hear it :)

    I just wish this is how it worked for every industry, all over the world. When your business is failing, don't blame the employees and fire their asses in the name of reduced costs, re-structuring and downsizing. It's your direction that got everything here, executives; the blame ultimately falls on your shoulders. YOU take the pay cut. You can afford it, after all.

    So bravo to Iwata, Miyamoto and anyone else on that board. Even if it's just a gesture ultimately, it's an important one.

  • docexe 2 months ago

    Pretty much the same thing they did when the 3DS was failing on the market. Although I wonder if this time they will manage to bounce back on the situation, if not to make the console a success at least to stop bleeding cash on it.

    It’s distressing really: Doing some math, the Wii U actually managed to sell around 2 million of units on this holiday period, and its biggest releases like Wind Waker and 3D World managed to sell more than 1 million. Yet the console had lost so much moment before, this moderate recovery is still not enough to make it sustainable.

    And while the 3DS is still in a very solid position in the market and its software sales increased, it suffered a slight decline in terms of hardware sales, despite Pokémon, Zelda and the cheaper kid-oriented 2DS. This just goes to prove you that Nintendo’s handheld market has genuinely been cannibalized by the mobile market, although the situation is not exactly as gloom and doom as some analysts might say.

    I wonder what they will do to capitalize on smartphone devices. I’m not sure how effective add-aps or something along those lines would be. And unless they were planning on releasing or porting some of those old DS games were the only input was the touch screen (think Brain Age and Kirby’s Canvas Curse) then putting demos or minigames was obviously out of the question. In any case, a miiverse and e-shop apps on mobile (and a proper unification of their damned Nintendo Network accounts) are really mandatory at this point.Edited January 2014 by Unknown

  • alexb 2 months ago

    @docexe They weren't all bottom of the barrel stuff, but the people who already had a Wii U were the ones most likely to already have multiple versions of the games they offered. Which, to me, just underlined how asinine and greedy it is that they still don't have an account system and expect me to buy individual copies of their games every time a new device is released. So, like most things Nintendo has done in the last few years, it felt like they miscalculated.

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