Today is Nintendo news day, isn't it? Nintendo of America has announced that it plans to sell the majority of its interest in the Seattle Mariners baseball team. Nintendo will retain a 10 percent stake in the team. The rest of the stake will be sold to other members of First Avenue Entertainment, the partnership that owns the Mariners.
Current CEO Howard Lincoln will be retiring for his position, but will retain his position on the Board of Directors. He will be replaced by John Stanton.
"From the first day of our involvement nearly 24 years ago, Nintendo has had two goals for its investment in the Mariners," said Lincoln. "First, we wanted to assure the permanence of the team in this great city. And on that count, I am proud and gratified that this agreement further solidifies that goal. On the other hand, I'm equally disappointed that we have not been able to host a World Series game for our fans."
"My goal and the goal of the entire Mariners ownership and management team is to win a World Series," said Stanton. "I believe that the Mariners are well positioned to achieve that goal and it will be my honor to lead the organization. I want to thank Howard for his leadership for the last 17 years and thank the members of the board and ownership for giving me this opportunity."
Nintendo is currently focused hard on launching the Nintendo NX. The Wii U slate for the second half of this year is pretty dry with the next Zelda being pushed back and moved from a Wii U exclusive to a dual Wii U/NX launch. Nintendo is leaving the Wii U behind rather quickly, with the NX planned for a March 2017 launch and the Wii U potentially ceasing production in March 2018 according to Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima.
Essentially, while owning a baseball team might be nice, it's no longer a focus for a company that's trying to make sure its future is assured.