Nintendo Boss Is Taking A Huge Pay Cut (Because Of The Wii U)

Nintendo Boss Is Taking A Huge Pay Cut (Because Of The Wii U)

The Wii U isn’t doing as well as Nintendo had hoped. Someone must take responsibility! That someone is Nintendo president Satoru Iwata — as well as other Nintendo execs.

According to Nikkei, Iwata is having his pay cut in half due to Nintendo’s poor performance. Other company directors will get pay cuts between 20 and 30 per cent. The reduction in salary begins next month and will go until June. At that point, Iwata is quoted as saying, a salary decision will be made depending on how things go.

As previously forecasted, the Wii U isn’t meeting Nintendo’s sales expectations for the year. Nintendo racked up a $US15 million-plus operating loss for April to December. From Nintendo’s recently released financial statement:

While these titles each sold over one million units, the “Wii U” business as a whole was not able to recover fully, and the global sales of the “Wii U” hardware and software reached only 2.41 million and 15.96 million units respectively.

According to Nintendo, the Wii U “still has a negative impact on Nintendo’s profits” due to the console’s markdown in the U.S. and Europe as well as its sluggish Wii U software sales.

But surely, things will get better for Nintendo in the last quarter of the year, right?

In the fourth quarter, we expect sales to decrease significantly due to seasonal factors as the year-end sales season concludes. Total selling, general and administrative expenses, which include fixed costs, are expected to exceed gross profit, leading to a bigger operating loss.

This isn’t a first for Iwata: Back in 2011, he took a 50 per cent pay cut for poor 3DS performance. That handheld turned out alright. And maybe the Wii U will too.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian | Getty

Consolidated Results for the Nine Months Ended December 2012 and 2013 [Nintendo]
任天堂、岩田社長が報酬半減 業績不振で2~6月 [Nikkei]


  • They’re doing it wrong, They’re supposed to take huge bonuses into the 100s of millions then bail on the company. Did they learn nothing from american banks?

    • Not to mention Australian mining magnates who continually give themselves giant raises… damn those honourable Japanese for punishing themselves and doing things in the best interests of their companies and employees! What are they THINKING!

      • Hey, if you made your living from digging up and selling things that you didn’t actually make then wouldn’t you demand heaps of money when market forces that you exert no control over pushed prices up while you happened to be in the job? I mean, you’d have earned it! Right?

  • The Wii U isn’t doing as well as Nintendo had hoped.

    Funny, I though the console was doing well. This is assuming the Wii U is just a hyper advanced Wii Emulator.

    But as a game console? Yeah, the Wii U stinks.

    • The prices isn’t the problem. It’s the games. It’s be sellers are just ports.

      It lacks exclusives to justify the purchase.

          • Nah, none of those.

            Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros, ZombiU, New Super Luigi, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, Rayman Legends. Super Mario 3D World.

            Also totally forgot that they moved Rayman to multiplat in the end, so I guess you can scrap that one.

          • I’ll also scrap Nintendo Land. It’s in the same league as Wii Play so it’s a tutorial/tech demo and not a game.

            Even then that’s six games so in your case it’s justified.

            The only exclusive I found for myself so far is the newer Sonic game and even then I went for it because I had read about Sonic X-treme aprior.

        • I’ve got 7 disc games, 6 are exclusive but I’d only count 5 of them as excellent (Nintendoland didn’t do it for me)

          Donkey Kong and Mario Kart are the only exclusives I’m interested in that are coming out in the near future but it’s just typical Nintendo where their library is smaller but the percentage of fantastic games is higher.

      • This^ Price is not an issue for Wii U. So many times ive considered getting a WiiU, but I can never justify it because theres nothing I want to play on it. I might get one if the new Zelda impresses me. But I doubt it.
        ATM I feel the same about PS4, but in another couple of months, ill feel different. MGS5!!!

      • There are so many problems I have with the WiiU but games isn’t one of em. Its got really good exclusives at the moment. The problems I have with it include no real account system, lackluster online, region locked, lacking 3rd party support, no cross buy, lack of connectivity/unified account system for 3DS and massively overpriced in Australia at the moment. I would pickup one in a heartbeat if it was cheaper and Nintendo could convince me this system is basically a HD GameCube.

        • We just need games, and advertising. Get both of then and it should move some units. As for price in Australia, it is not bad. Yes it’s cheaper in the States but we also don’t get $7 a hour minimun wage.

          • That “higher wage” card didn’t work before with distributors and is not going to work here. Distributors here in Australia do not wish to adapt to the times.

            Even if we matched the US $7 per hour wage, the price of goods will stay the same because distributors are able to charge as they please and not be held accountable.

          • Why does everyone quote the minimum wage difference as justification for higher prices in Aus. The US have a higher average disposable income so shouldn’t that be an equally legitimate argument for the price to be cheaper in Aus?

          • True that. People say our wages are high. But so are our costs of living so that renders the “higher wage” point void.

          • Low wage does have an impact, but it’s not that simple. It’s the smaller return on investment from a small market, economy of scale doesn’t kick in really well until you have a huge market. They need to make more profit per unit because fewer units will be sold overall.
            Average disposable income doesn’t mean much when you’ve got a population of 300 million, but a total of 80% of the financial wealth concentrated in the top of the scale. The average just doesn’t paint an accurate picture.
            Then you have to factor in cost of living, local operational costs, distribution expense for such a low density region, fluctuating share and currency prices… We are going to be more expensive for several legitimate reasons. As far as things go, we aren’t doing too badly. Many countries get ripped off a hell of a lot worse than we do.

          • All of that makes sense. I think a lot of it does have to do with charging what the market will bear. In Australia companies have been able to use Australia’s relative isolation from other markets such as the US to get away with charging higher prices which are disproportionate to the costs of distribution, operating the local business, etc. This isn’t just restricted to games either. I have spoken with people who work in the procurement business who’s job it is to basically cut down the margin on suppliers for their clients, and they have told me Australia is known in the industry as “Treasure Island”. This is due to the amount companies have been able to crank up prices for the Australian market.

          • Charging as much as the market will bear is pretty much a given. I guess i was just pointing out that it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are getting crazy profit. The operational costs in general are higher, so the retail will be higher even without the gouging. When you add people trying to find the sweet spot in market elasticity on top, you get our stupid prices.

        • I would pickup one in a heartbeat if it was cheaper and Nintendo could convince me this system is basically a HD GameCube.

          Technically it already is a HD version of the GameCube. Or did you mean to say “is not” a HD GameCube?

          • I dislike the backwards compatibility with wii motes. I would like it more if there was no tablet controller to bring the cost down and the only controller used in games was the pro controller. $250-$300 wiiU with no tablet controller would be really appealing to me.

      • But I think the range of games is a factor that you’d take into account when weighing up whether something is good value for money or not. E.g. if it on cost $200 for the console, you might say that’s good value for money. But if there’s only 1 game worth playing on it and that game costs $100, then you’re basically paying $300 to play that 1 game, and suddenly the $200 console isn’t such good value any more.

        There’s also the issue of what else you could get for the money – if you didn’t already have a PS3 and a 360 you could get one of those for less and have instant access to a much bigger range of quality games (exclusive and multiplatform) right away, and most of them can be had at dirt cheap prices these days.

  • This isn’t a first for Iwata: Back in 2011, he took a 50 per cent pay cut for poor 3DS performance. That handheld turned out alright. And maybe the Wii U will too.

    Part of the strategy, pay cut may increase sales?

  • While I am not into Pokemon games, if they released some bigass Pokemon game on the thing it would probably sell by the bucketload.

  • I’d much rather see heads roll at the top. Nintendo’s overall strategy with the WiiU has been such an abysmal failure. They make brilliant games but they need the vision to support that and it’s just not there at the moment.

    It’s cost them millions upon millions of dollars and in my opinion the WiiU is now an unsalvageable write-off. They’ve done so many things wrong it’s laughable, taking a pay cut isn’t going to magically fix the impression that the Nintendo Executive are completely out of touch with the market.

    It’s pretty rare that I call for someone to lose their job, people make mistakes, but this isn’t one issue. Anyone with half a brain could have seen the failure of the WiiU coming a mile away.

    • The PS3 was doing abysmally, too. So was the 3DS. So was the original Xbox. So was the PSP.

      What I’m saying is that there’s a lot more to it and if Iwata getting the boot would help at all, you can bet your nerd cred he’d already be gone.

      • Apart from the PSP (which was shit and will still outsell the WiiU by miles), those products were on the up-and-up by this point in their lifecycles, all entered into very different markets and all were are much more “future proof” than the WiiU.

        I’ve pointed out many times that the Dreamcast jumped a year before the other “next-gen” consoles too, it was much closer power-wise to its competitors than the WiiU is and on current sales figures it will be a resounding success compared to the WiiU over its lifecycle.

        10.6 million Dreamcasts sold Worldwide.
        Wii U has sold 5.8 million consoles to date. But have also said that they expect to sell just 2.8m over this financial year. That fiscal year only has 5 months to go (the 5 quietest months). Let’s be REALLY optimistic and say that a quarter of those sales are still to come (which is bullshit given they have no games coming out and two other consoles on the market now).

        That puts them to what, 6.5m consoles sold? Sales going backwards fast well into the lifecycle of a product which is already 6-7 years behind the pack in terms of power. No 3rd party support at all (even factoring in the PS4 shortage, the combined PS4/Xbone market is already the same as the WiiU, and that’s not factoring in PC crowd. Nobody’s going to be thinking of the WiiU for mulitplatforms or exclusives with those sales figures). A controller which is prohibitively expletive compared to the power of the machine. And your two biggest titles of 2014 are both games which you really need 4 controllers to appreciate.

        It’s a write-off. It’s not going to be fixed.

        • Dismissing something as shit because of the number of units sold is stupid. Alot of people look back and say “Oh man the PSP was shit compared to the DS look at the sales difference” That didn’t stop me from enjoying a ton of JRPGS on it and discovering my new favorite series Persona. A lot of people have that stupid outlook on old consoles purely based on sales numbers.

        • The PS3 was called a write off for 2 years after release. The original Xbox halved the price and literally threw free shit at people in order to get it to sell. Dreamcast died for a dozen reasons not related to the argument. PSP sold reasonably well and was a seriously cool piece of tech. Despite being too expensive, having an awful DRM measure and a bunch of other problems, it did fine.

          The amount of mad coming out of you about this is amazing. You might be right, it may never recover. But i can tell you that if that happens, it will be for a host of reasons unrelated to your rant.

          • WHEN it fails it will be because of outdated hardware, terrible marketing, an expensive and unnecessary controller, archaic online systems, poor 3rd party support and ultimately underwhelming (for Nintendo) 1st party games caused by the need to rush them out to alleviate the assortment of problems listed above.

            I think that’s all their problems in a nutshell. They’re basically sh*t at everything except making games, which was fine in 1996 when that’s all consoles did, and fine for the 3DS because that’s all anybody wants it to do.

            Best case scenario Nintendo sees the writing on the wall and dumps it by mid-2014. Shift development on the next Zelda to a next-gen comparable console (N64 style timing) and aim to get both out by Christmas 2015. Let 3rd party developers know before the end of this year that the new Nintendo (not called the Wii-something-fucking-stupid) will be capable of running the same engines as PS4/ Xbone games so they can start preparing 3rd party multiplatform titles.

            Or better yet, just start making games for someone else’s consoles.

            Edit: Just further to that- every one of those machines you mentioned was the tech leader for their generation (except the Dreamcast, which has many of the same faults as the WiiU but apparently doesn’t count). It’s one thing to start slow because a machine is powerful, expensive and has very few games. That’s not just something a machine can grow into with games and price cuts, it’s actually something that should be expected.

            The WiiU is most certainly NOT one of those situations.

  • God damn it I am sick of hearing “no exclusives”… let me see…

    3D World
    Wonderful 101
    Pikmin 3
    Mario U
    Luigi U
    Scribblenauts DC
    Lego City
    Monster Hunter
    Wind Waker HD
    Game & Wario
    WiiFit U
    Mario and Sonic Winter Games
    Sonic Lost World

    and confirmed for this year…

    Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
    Smash Bros
    Bayonetta 2
    Mario Kart
    Hyrule Warriors
    Yarn Yoshi

    Which are just ones I can think of off the top of my head and don’t include games like Ninja Gaiden Razor’s Edge, Arkham City Armoured Edition, Tekken Tag Tournament etc which were ports but had special editions made just for the Wii U. And keep in mind there hasn’t been a Nintendo direct for wii u in a while so i expect more to be announced shortly. So how many EXCLUSIVE games do the PS4 and Xbone have?

    • People should probably quantify then with: “No exclusive… that I want.”

      Personally I’m still waiting (and have been for over a decade) for Nintendo to make a true Pokemon for consoles. Not handhelds. Monster hunter appeals to me but not enough to buy a console for it. That Pokemon game that they will never make (I would LOVE to eat my words) is one that I would go out and get another WiiU (had one and hated the os, gamepad/tablet, got rid of it for the x1 and ps4) for.

    • OK, I stand corrected. I know there were exclusives but I didn’t think it was that many. But there are two in your list that do not count.

      Windwaker: It’s a port. Just because it’s only available on one platform does not mean you can excuse the fact it is a port.

      Nintendoland: That’s a pack in to show off what the console can do. It’s no different to the Wii Play games which were tutorials on how to use the Wii remote.

      However, the problem for me is most of the games listed here are basically rinse and repeats of prior game entries.

      • The Wii also had heaps more exclusives than any other console of the last generation. I mean by a MILE it had the most.

        Lucky Wii owners got to enjoy a boatload of shovelware and downgraded, customised individual versions of titles while the poor saps with 360’s and PS3’s had to share their Mass Effects, Fallouts, Bioshocks, Assassins Creeds, Grand Theft Autos, Red Dead Redemptions ect.

        It will get some great 1st party titles no doubt, but overall very few of the exclusives will be any good. Even some of the 1st party stuff on the list I’d count and either shovelware or very close (Game and Wario, Nintendoland).

        • Wii has a pretty awesome library of exclusives actually. Kept me well-satisfied over the past ~seven years, all while avoiding the plague of shovelware. Went to see how the other side lived, checked out some Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed and GTA… well, I agree. Poor saps indeed.

          • Each to his own and all, but as someone who has at least 2 N64 games on my all-time-top 10 list and who would have put a couple of Gamecube games on my top 10 list for that generation, there was very little on the Wii that held up to the overall quality of those games I listed.

            Mass Effect was a revelation, GTA V was the most comprehensive game ever, Red Dead took me to a game world I never realised I was interested in, both Bioshock and Bioshock: Infinite changed the way I think about games as a social commentary, Fallout and then Skyrim were amazing. Just awesome titles that actually changed what I expected from a game.

            I think the only 4 games on the Wii that I REALLY liked were the two Galaxy games and the two Zelda games. Mario Galaxy is probably the only truly AAA Nintendo title that I’d even consider for a top-10 list of that generation. It (and its sequel) were the only games that felt like they made proper use of the Wii hardware and controller and weren’t at least a bit half-assed of unresponsive.
            It was also the only game which really did something NEW. While games like Skyrim and Mass Effect really changed my perception of what a game can achieve, Nintendo’s best games could all have been done relatively easily on the Gamecube or even the N64 (obviously with a graphics hit).
            Skyward Sword was also very good, but due to the hardware limitations it never felt truly breathtaking like OOT of Wind Waker did when they were released.

          • I was always fascinated by Bioshock, so I grabbed it once I had the chance. I only got through a couple of hours then just had to stop, because as a game it was just unenjoyable. GTA4 seemed fairly meh too, 5 seems alright I guess. Still really interested in Red Dead though haven’t cracked it out yet. Assassin’s Creed 2 was alright, but became a bit of a slog and I don’t feel the need to play another game of it again.

            For me the Wii’s best titles don’t come from Nintendo. Deadly Creatures was my change-the-idea-of-presenting-a-story game, and de Blob had one of the best soundtracks (and integration of said soundtrack) of that generation. House of the Dead: Overkill was one just about my favourite, a perfect execution of a light gun game oozing with style and an aesthetic that was just nailed. Little King’s Story was excellent and had one of the best openings to a game I can think of, it should be in ever Wii owner’s collection. Plenty of others to list, though those are all that immediately spring to mind.

            For me, the Nintendo games aren’t the main attraction of getting a Nintendo system. Sure they’re great and all, but you know they’re coming. It’s the surprises that you get alongside them that I really hang out for.

  • So I was in an EB the other day and saw that in the Wii U section, suddenly there was lots of empty shelf space. Not as in completely empty, but you’d have this shelf with maybe three games on it, a shelf below it with maybe four. That sort of thing.

    I flashed back to the end of the Dreamcast where despite the fact that games were still being sold in other regions (Shenmue 2, Capcom vs SNK 2), local retailers weren’t bothering to stock DC games anymore. Maybe the same happened with the Gamecube? I can’t remember well enough.

    Is something similar about to happen to the Wii U in Australia?

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