Satoru Iwata talks Nintendo as an entertainment company
Come summer of this year, it will be decided whether or not Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata will stay on the company board. In the meantime, Mr. Iwata sat down with Diamond (via) to discuss how he plans to go about carrying former president Hiroshi Yamauchi’s will to have Nintendo always be an entertainment company first and everything else second, including video games.
“Surely, a lot of people around the world must think ‘Nintendo is a company that is just for video games,’ about us, and I believe that there are more and more of our own employees who’ve begun to think like that. Some employees that are in charge of making things, are often kept positions where they have to think of how they can make the game in front of them more fun, so I don’t think it can be helped if others outside of our company think like that.
So, even if the fact that our focus being video games won’t be changing, I felt the need to take this occasion to say ‘Nintendo is a company that can do whatever they want’.”
Iwata connected his views back to late president Mr. Yamauchi, a man who passed away late last year.
“This subject came to light when Yamauchi passed away, but I felt that ‘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.:
“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’. I’ve been wondering how to express Yamauchi’s feelings, and I’ve been thinking about it non-stop, even during the New Year’s holiday break.”
Iwata then made connections to their new Quality of Life platform that was announced during the last investors meeting.
“Lately, the words ‘QOL’ (quality of life) have come up. 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.” “At the start of this year, I finally figured that ‘improving people’s quality of life with fun,’ with emphasis to the ‘fun’ would be perfect for Nintendo. And that’s when I decided to use this as a focus during the financial results meeting in January and wrote the manuscript for the presentation.”