Iwata: “Nintendo is a company that can do whatever they want”
Yesterday we reported how a videogame analyst believed that it was time for Satoru Iwata to retire and let Nintendo Of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime run the show. Which is unlikely to happen. Iwata is probably going to stay on top for a while, and any replacement will be of Japanese origin.
In a recent interview with Japanese publication Diamond, Iwata shared some of his thoughts on the future for Nintendo. And while Nintendo hasn’t been doing well over the past few years, Iwata seemed very confident about the company and the future.
On the subject of Nintendo has a company and what they do, Iwata said that while Nintendo is a gaming company, they can expand into other territories of “entertainment”. At one point, Iwata said “Nintendo is a company that can do whatever they want”.
“This subject came to light when Yamauchi [former President of Nintendo] passed away, but I felt ‘our surroundings are greatly changing. We need to redefine what Nintendo must do, from this point on.’ However, I felt that saying ‘Nintendo will do anything,’ was also the wrong idea for the company.”
Iwata and Nintendo are clearly thinking of how to expand beyond video games. He said:
“Yamauchi was one to always say ‘Nintendo is a company for entertainment, and it shouldn’t be for anything else,’ and he didn’t necessarily think that ‘entertainment = video games. [...] Entertainment is there to improve people’s quality of life. After your basic needs, there’s entertainment. However, when it comes to ‘improving people’s quality of life,’ I didn’t know the difference between us and household appliance makers.”
Iwata added that Nintendo will look to “improve people’s quality of life with fun” with games and quality of games. He explained this in detail during the investors meeting back in January, where he outlined Nintendo’s plans for the future, which included more than just gaming.
All this sounds good in theory, but what most Nintendo fans and gamers want is a practical approach to turning the ship around. How is this “Quality of Life” approach help sell more Wii U consoles? How is it going to help attract more third party developers to the platform?