Submitted by AbsoluteZelda 962d ago | opinion piece

It’s Time for Satoru Iwata to Step Down

Gamnesia: "I struggled writing the title for this piece due to one major factor: I personally really like Mr. Iwata. I haven’t met the man, but from what we have seen publicly he is just very likable. He’s a CEO that cut his own pay when sales dipped. He’s very honest in an industry where many talk out their ass. He does developer interviews in Iwata Asks and spurred the Nintendo Directs – both of which I thoroughly enjoy and have been nice additions for the fans.

However, in many ways Iwata has a bit too much of Miyamoto in him. He’s a fine idea man with some nice concepts, but too often he finds himself apologizing for mistakes he has made. Grant it, he is pretty good at rectifying his own mistakes over time, but the fact he has continually made them is certainly a problem." (3DS, Nintendo, Wii U)

dedicatedtogamers  +   963d ago
It's not so much Iwata who needs to step down. Nintendo's veteran development heads (Miyamoto, Aonuma, etc) need to step down or at least be put in their place. Iwata put Nintendo back on track with the Wii and the DS. He correctly judged which games would make those systems popular.

But then, he got lazy. He let the developers do what they wanted instead of continuing the momentum (for instance, why wasn't there a NSMB equivalent in the Zelda franchise to revive public interest?). Miyamoto has gone on the record many times saying games like 2D Mario and Wii Sports took a lot out of him and he doesn't like making those games anymore. Okay, so step down. Stop soaking up development money with yet another Mario Galaxy, Wii Music, and Pikmin 3. It was Miyamoto and his fellow developers - not Iwata - who made the design choices for the 3DS and the WiiU. Go back and watch some early interviews. The 3DS's glasses-free screen did nothing to inspire sales and it wasn't until Nintendo began focusing on games that the 3DS took off. The WiiU's tablet was a bad decision. It wasn't what the market wanted, and now 3rd parties are fleeing from the system. Iwata's problem is that he LET these developers do what they wanted (thinking they would create yet another Wii Sports hit) but he didn't pay close enough attention.
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Donnieboi  +   963d ago
No, keep Miyamoto and Aonuma. But DEFINITELY Gget rid of Iwata.

Miyamoto and Aonuma are game developers. That is it. Don't blame the lame decisions Nintendo has made as a whole, on game designers. Plus they have already been taking a back seat approach to things, so how are they to blame? But I do agree Nintendo should have been relying on more than just 2 main designers. Gaming has become much bigger enterprise than back in the NES-N64 days. So they need to pump out more games, faster, with faster toolsets (middleware) instead of building new game engines from scratch (which is probably why Nintendo takes too long to make games). Keep those two, but start scouting additional talent to train under those 2 legends, maybe someone like Jenova Chen (Journey, Flower, Cloud, Flow, etc), or some other talented individuals whose philosophy aligns with Nintendo's uniquely different approach to game design.
TruthbeTold  +   962d ago
Why should Iwata step down, when in a year, whoever is the next President will be reaping the good things to come? There have been missteps, for certain. But the company is sound, and by this time next year, things will be looking good. Just watch and see.
ChickeyCantor  +   962d ago
"Miyamoto and Aonuma are game developers. "

So was Iwata.
Miyamoto is pretty conservative when it comes to gamedesign. Even though he supervises stuff you get ridiculous things like how pikmin wouldn't work in a co-up online mode because of all the pikmin. Which was just hilariously wrong.

Don't get me wrong I love Nintendo games. But Nintendos game designers CAN make weird decisions and excuses which completely undermines the potential of their product.

Everyone is bashing Iwata but he has years of experience. Both in gamedevelopment and marketing. He probably understands the casual market better than anyone else ( beside that Nintendo is always doing what they always have been doing, making games for "families" ). Understands the demand of avid gamers. The main problem here was the same mistake Sony made and betting it all on brand name.
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lilbroRx  +   962d ago
They need to get rid of the man who gave Nintendo their two best selling pieces of hardware and their the best selling games on the planet Earth, why?
Realplaya  +   962d ago
Miyamoto and Anouma will never go anywhere they are the face of the company. Say what you want but every big game they create sales millions and there work sets the tone for games to copy there work. Where Nintendo is going wrong with the WII U is there saying people need to play the Wii U to to understand it.

Ok then if that's the case put a game out that people want to play and also where are the demo units or them at the mall or at sporting events. I live in Chicago and go to Bulls games If they had systems set up during the season they could get people to play hell the bulls sale out every home game. That's an example.

Also keep in mind they wanted the controller to replace tablets what they need now are apps. When I hold my controller in my hand I love the fact I can surf the web but that's it.

I would love for them to rebuild the controller with it's own processor make it fast and powerful Give it better battery life and range.
Yodagamer  +   962d ago
Actually if you follow the development of new mario games (specifically nsmbu) and Zelda games (skyward sword). it was well known they were having younger devs creating them. NSMBu is considered the best of the nsmb series and skyward sword is debatable as are all zelda games. It's good to have veterans in a company if they can teach well. As for the wii u development it was also designed primary by younger talent while over-viewed by miyamoto.
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scissor_runner  +   962d ago
Did you know Iwata was the main force behind the wiiu having a little more power, he also was the force behind making the wii work. He put the smash creator in a position the expanded it's fan fare. He is also the only CEO in the industry that understands game design and the idea of expanding gaming. If you loose him then the industry will surely stagnate. No one will be able to tell the franchise makers to make their games a little better.

Lots of people say it was the expanded audience that saved the wii but designer know it was 60- or solid 30fps tight playing games like smash and mariokart. Even 3d Mario had to get better.

I think he is being attacked so another CEO can port first party games to other platforms. Kaz is not asked to step down yet. The psp go, smash bro clone, Mario kart clone, wii play clone, no support for move controllers and then vita having a roughy start.

What is also funny is he is being attacked while he was basically lied to by EA, ubisoft etc which resulted in the drought. He tried to play nice which is needed in this industry now more than ever.

I'm also sure the slow start by the ps4 will be ignored.
bothebo  +   962d ago
"I think he is being attacked so another CEO can port first party games to other platforms. Kaz is not asked to step down yet. The psp go, smash bro clone, Mario kart clone, wii play clone, no support for move controllers and then vita having a roughy start. "

This is because Kaz stepped into a sh*t show with Sony hemorrhaging money. The one console whose design he probably did have a say in was the PS4. When was the last time you have had so much hype around a console?

"What is also funny is he is being attacked while he was basically lied to by EA, ubisoft etc which resulted in the drought. He tried to play nice which is needed in this industry now more than ever."

I think Iwata is under fire because he grossly misread the market at the launch of the 3DS and he couldn't have done much of a worse job with the Wii U.

"I'm also sure the slow start by the ps4 will be ignored."

Based on numbers provided by Gamestop 900,000 people have already signed up for further information on the PS4. This is just Gamestop. You need to consider how many more people may have signed up on Amazon and other sites. The CEO of Gamestop then went on to say that he believes "demand will exceed supply". There could not be stronger signs that the industry believes this console is going to kick ass.

How many 3rd party devs does you Wii U have? PS4 has just about ever major 3rd party dev in the industry..... think about that.

Nintendo needs a new strategy.
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Gr81  +   962d ago
I'm with Scissor, here
The double standard between fanbase followers is amusing to watch. No one is calling for Kaz' head. And while I do feel Iwata is being scapegoated, and that he was suckered in by many to abandon the Wii Mantra, he is still the head of the company and should have stuck to the Wii principles.
scissor_runner  +   962d ago
Ok Kaz was handed a brand that has ps2 and ps1 gamers and still dropped the ball on beating nintendo at their own game. The n64 and Ngc sold horribly. Two gens of sucking and he turns it all around. A system 3ds that started to suck but he turned it all around.

Do you not see how Sony has still not established franchises in console gaming yet in pc like gaming? Now they have a laptop like hardware. They are in danger of becoming an Alienware box that gets some exclusives.

I remember all of the wiiu preorder stories also, I also see sales that still track above the ps3 release and the heavy hitters are not even revealed yet.

I also see a third party ecosystem that is dieing and becoming gutted by pc developers that are more capable of using highend tech yet unaccomplished in making compelling game play.

Third parties are actually painting themselves into a wall. The market may run into a port saturation problem.

Also third parties are on the pc... How has that helped that platform. You are seeing things from a fan point of view instead of buisness. Even sony fans understand that exclusive are actualy way more important.

There are a few things that needs to happen in console world. Power vs price balance and game play ip needs to happen.

Iwata really did and continues to turn around the naysayers yet Kaz can continue to fail and it's ok. Sega fans felt the same way about sega before it collapsed. I commend Kaz though but that does not excuse his mess ups. At least pr wise they are strong among their fans but realistically if the ps4 has a ps3 start Kaz may have to step down because they can not make a wii sports, Mario, or even Zelda etc. they also dont have games that sell 20 million copies on one system.

Notice no Sony first party games cuased the vita to come back from the dead.

Hey but you don't have to believe any of that because only time will tell what ultimately happens. Yet hype can be a posionous thing if there are no results.
CouldHaveYelledUiiW  +   962d ago

Many in the Market think there is a butt-load of money to be made with Nintendo as a 3rd Party for many platforms.

They think that if Nintendo 1st Party Games were on all plats.( Consoles, Smart Phones, PC, Tablets) that:
-Nintendo would make more money.
-And other consoles will make more money bringing in families.

The problem is that so much of Nintendo would be lost if it didn't have its own consoles.

Iwata is a man standing in their way.
Many are trying to brainwash the board through external source to get the board to ask for his resignation.

Iwata has already said he would concede it asked.
Xof  +   962d ago
The only criticism I have of Nintendo is their anachronistic digital distribution model.

And I don't think that's a complaint big enough to warrant asking -anyone- to give up their job--their career.

To even bring up something like this, with regard to the people who have built Nintendo up into the monumental company it is, seems in extremely poor judgment.
Gr81  +   963d ago
I think
Iwata is a nice guy, and so its not easy to say this, but I think his time as Nintendo's president should be up. The transition from Wii to Wii U is unprecedented in how bungled it has been.

Additionally, his experience as a game developer leaves him too entrenched to allow Software Devs to make games they want to make instead of the games the masses want. Nintendo also needs to make a culturally agnostic console that attracts as broad a demographic as possible.

Unfortunately, Wii U has more in common with Gamecube (Their biggest flop of a console) Than it does to the Wii. And for that heads should roll.
deafdani  +   962d ago
A flop is something that makes you lose money. Gamecube, despite its low sales, still turned a nice profit for Nintendo.

Nah, Nintendo's only flop in gaming history was the Virtual Boy.
Gr81  +   962d ago
Most of those profits
Can be attributed to the GBA. Nintendo's handheld line was very profitable at that time.

Additionally, the Gamecube's userbase was considerably lower than the N64's. Which just continued Nintendo's downward spiral in the home console business. I'd consider that a flop.

Gamecube also turned many of Nintendo's staple franchises into jokes. Minus a few gems, Gamecube was garbage.
AWBrawler  +   962d ago
Gamecube turned staple franchises into jokes? That's new to me. Which ones were those? Cos some of the best iterations where on cube, such as FZero GX, LoZ Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Pokemon XD Gale of Darkness,, fire emblem path of radiance, mario sunshine, and many great 3rd parties.
Qrphe  +   963d ago
He has brought much success to Nintendo with the DS, Wii and 3DS; who knows where Nintendo would be if his period hadn't come.
PopRocks359  +   963d ago
He also works closely in Nintendo's software development. If he is to step down at some point (which of course is an inevitability), I would like to see him remain a part of the company's game development division.
auragenz  +   962d ago
Nintendo's software development isn't exactly pumping them out with him "working closely" with them, maybe he should just back off a little and let them do their job.

They got along just fine before him.
PopRocks359  +   962d ago

You're kidding, right? Iwata has development credits with Nintendo since the NES era. He helped create the Balloon Fighter and Kirby games. Unless you think he should have backed off with Nintendo's earliest and finest titles.

EDIT: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=satoru...
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LOL_WUT  +   963d ago
He's had a nice run as CEO of Nintendo now is the time for him to step down.
PSNintyGamer  +   963d ago
So who would you put up?
Root  +   962d ago
Mr Blobby
TruthbeTold  +   962d ago
If he HAS to go, I'd want Masahiro Sakurai. He's bold, talented, thorough, yet knows and understands the Nintendo way quite well.
Yodagamer  +   962d ago
I think it would be best to find someone with north american experience as it's the biggest issue nintendo has. The 3ds has sold well everywhere, but NA is weaker in sales. i don't know about the wii u, but i'm sure it's the case as well.
AWBrawler  +   962d ago
North american? If they ever americanize my nintendo, I'm moving over to PCs and MMOs
gamer42  +   963d ago
His leadership is questionable at best, there have been 3 consoles that have not reached expectations (Gamecube, N64, Gameboy micro) under him, and 3 successful consoles (3DS, DS, Wii) I think the WiiU will be the deciding factor on whether he will decide to stay or step down as CEO of Nintendo.
PopRocks359  +   963d ago
What? He didn't become president until after Yamauchi retired in 2002. The N64 was hardly under his jurisdiction and he inherited the GCN (which came out in 2001). Finally, the Gameboy Micro wound up getting cannibalized by the DS, a far more successful handheld Nintendo platform that was under Iwata's belt.
RTheRebel  +   962d ago
E3 Will Be The Deciding Factor for Iwata
And as much as I love Reggies persona, he hasn't done nothing for NOA, Lincoln on the other hand had a great decent relationship with 3rd parties and he found Rare and other outstanding credintials.
The Great Melon  +   962d ago
Really....Gameboy Micro?

That was just a small Gameboy Advance that was released just before the Nintendo DS arrived. If anything I thought that was just released more for novelty rather than a major handheld upgrade. Regardless, I am mad I didn't buy one at the time. Still looking for one.
pythonxz  +   962d ago
Barring the fact he wasn't President at that time, N64 didn't reach expectations? Really? How many legendary games were on that system?

I am by no means a fanboy of Nintendo (or a fanboy of anything for that matter), but saying that the N64 didn't reach expectations is news to me.
Jek_Porkins  +   962d ago
Get back to me in like 2-3 years and I might agree. If we were basing Wii U sales on the reason, a lot of Sony and Microsoft people would have had to step down too.

What about the Vita's sales? should Kaz step down too? Of course not, it's too soon to tell. Iwata helped take Nintendo out of the basement that the Gamecube left them in.
LOL_WUT  +   962d ago
Except Kaz was just appointed as CEO late last year, Iwata on the other has been with Nintendo for quite a while. Lets be honest here, the man is just not adequate enough to move the company towards success. ;)
Jek_Porkins  +   962d ago
Were the Wii, DS and 3DS not successful? I think it's way too early to say off with his head just now.

I know the Japanese are people of honor and he'd probably step down if things don't turn around by next year or so, but if the Wii U had some games, it would be lighting it up, because I believe people truly want a new console, but you need new and interesting games to play on it, not ports of older games.
lilbroRx  +   962d ago
The DS is the number 1 selling piece of gaming hardware on the planet now, and the Wii is the 3rd. Brought in by Iwata.

Also, the best selling games in history, not just for NIntendo, were brought in by Iwata.

This is really why haters want him to step down. They want what is worst for Nintendo, and they want him to stop bring them success of their preferred platforms. Nintendo haters want Nintendo to stop giving people other options than what they think is best.

You and many others have clearly expressed enough disdain for Nitnendo, that is clear that you want whatever is not best for it, so Iwata stepping down is clearly a bad idea from that alone without even taking the other aspects into consideration.
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bobtheimpaler  +   962d ago
I don't have a nintendo system, so I don't know who needs to step down if anybody has to. I do think they're in need of fresh ideas in terms of supporting 3rd parties and catering to other demographics with their own firt party software.

They are in a tight spot. They released the Wii U hardware at a bad time. The fact that the system is underpowered and would be the only power PC based console platform left is also going to hurt it's chances of receiving ports in future. This might change if hardware sales pick up, but most 3rd party titles don't seem to do well outside of a couple of ubisoft and capcom titles.
porkChop  +   962d ago
He's a nice guy, but he has no idea what he's doing. He's contradicted himself so many times, he's made so many questionable decisions, and he's made the same mistakes over and over after promising it wouldn't happen again. If any company is to succeed, it needs a strong leader. Iwata is a nice guy, but he doesn't have what it takes to be a leader. He's proved that over the past 10 years.
Theyellowflash30  +   962d ago
So who was responsible for the DS, Wii, and 3DS's success? Iwata right? Wii -100 million, DS - 150 million, 3DS - 30 million.

Wii U about 4 million - sold more in the first 4 months on the market than the PS3 and Xbox 360. Currently has an attach rate of almost 4 games per console.

I'm not trying to say the Wii U is hitting it out of the park, but you gave absolutely no reason for your decision.
scissor_runner  +   962d ago
Could it be that these gamers are simply out of touch with other console due to them being fanboys? Maybe but it isn't going to matter any one can be an arm chair CEO.
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porkChop  +   962d ago
It would take way too long to type out so I'm just gonna give you a link that sums up a lot of it.

just-joe  +   962d ago
Yeah, most people here don't seem to comprehend that Japaneses companies do not function the same a US companies.
Trago1337  +   962d ago
Not too sure they would do that considering how much money Nintendo made with him leading, however, it would be nice for him to work on games extensively again.

After all he was a helping hand in developing games for HAL Laboratory.

Plus he's one of the few big executives who hate anti consumerist business practices, so replacing him with someone who's all for things like On disk DLC and DRM is a scary thought.
ywuoisdf   962d ago | Spam
OwlEyes  +   962d ago
Really don't understand why.
The last three consoles under Iwata (3DS, DS, Wii) have sold in numbers other companies can only dream of.

Also, I prefer a CEO that admits his mistakes instead of someone that pretends everything's doing fine.
Theyellowflash30  +   962d ago
DS, Wii, 3DS are successful, Wii U is struggling a little bit out of the gate, still sold more than the PS3 and Xbox 360 in there first four months.... and Iwata needs to step down?

Right....that makes sense. Nintendo needs to make games faster.
IK IR Y IP T  +   962d ago
The wii u should have just been a hd wii and not there so called next gen system ! They would have been better off to not release the pos and develop a tru next gen console. I love nintendos first party titles but they are one and done and they aren't as frequent as they need to be. Nintendo is starting to remind me of sega in the dreamcast days
Theyellowflash30  +   962d ago
Just with about 10 billion more in the bank. And Ips that sell millions more. Best selling SEGA Dreamcast first party game was Sonic Adventure....2.5 million units.
YourFlyness  +   962d ago
Please Understand
kirbyu  +   962d ago
How do we know the company's new president would be better? We don't.
pr0t0typeknuckles  +   962d ago
creepily blackbond just made a video on this
hano  +   962d ago
That's BS,

He's a great CEO. I would rather have someone who worked in game developments as CEO. Not a banker type like Roger Moore or Bobby Kotick, douchebags.
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Ck1x  +   962d ago
You guys wouldn't even be talking about him stepping down if he wasn't the one that suggested it in the first place. When speaking to investors, he mentioned a certain profit margin that he sought to get Nintendo to(might have been 500 million dollars by the next fiscal cycle) or he would be willing to step down! Ever since that came out, everyone has been bringing up comments about how he needs to be fired. Name one other CEO that you know of that is this chivalrous and willing to offer himself up like that... The man took a major pay cut after the whole 3ds screw up, no other CEO has willingly done this either. In the end, this man suggested that he both take the pay cut and step down as results if he can't meet certain standards. Why should Nintendo want to hurry up and get rid of someone like that? American CEO 's have been screwing over major corporations for years and you don't hear about any of them willingly taking pay cuts or stepping down at all. Calm down people, really!
na-no-nai  +   962d ago
Also if its an American CEO; they be milking the company in to bankruptcy.
GoldenElf  +   962d ago
Admittidly, I didn't read this article... but Nintendo have had ONE posted loss in over 124 years.


That's... one. Think about that number for a second.

They've been through at least FIVE serious recessions/depressions. They've been through countless economic downturns. They even survived a war in which their home country was nuked.

This is a resilient company by any stretch of the imagination. To suggest the CEO that made GameCube profitiable should be sacked because of ONE financial loss is absurd, especially when you do a LITTLE bit of research and find out why Nintendo's P&L's are hurting so much.

I'll save you the time. The Japanese Yen is too strong against the US and Europe. That's a problem, because the BULK of their sales come from...... US and Europe.

So, if US and Europe give them $1, Nintendo only see about $0.30 of that thanks to the exchange rate.

This is why Nintendo is losing money. Not because "ZOMG PLAYSTATION!!!". Not because "KOTAKU SAYZ WIII U SUXORZ!!!!". Not because "IGN SED XBOX IS ALWAYS ONLINE!!!!!".

The reason Nintendo is losing money is because they sell products in other countries other than Japan.

The reason Nintendo isn't bothering with releases outside of Japan as much as those inside of Japan is because the more sales they get in Japan, the more profit they make.

Fanboys need to calm down and stop spewing crap about things they clearly don't understand.

Is Nintendo hurting? Kind of. Does it matter? No. Should we go on a witch hunt? Hell no.

And besides, let's say they do sack Iwata and bring on some other, older Japanese businessman with history in finance and zero history in video game development. Would that make you buy more consoles? Would that make the Japanese Yen decrease in foreign trade value? Would an old guy who's worried only about figures on paper honestly say "Yes, develop a console that's 90 more times as powerful and a million times more expensive. That should fix our company"?


All that would happen is that fanboys will no longer know who's running the show and have no one to blame.

I might read the article but I'm pretty sure I know what it contains; ignorant crap about irrelevant nonsense. Nintendo still have investors, and zero debt. Can you even comprehend a company with that much money, that high a global footprint that has ZERO DEBT?! They don't need a strong financial statement, they already have money. They can afford to lose money.

MNGamer-N  +   962d ago
I think it simply comes down to profits. If Nintendo loses money again this year, then he will go. If they make money, then I think he will stay. Easy enough.
lilbroRx  +   962d ago
Iwata more than tripled Nitnendo's profit and the 3DS has been the number 1 selling piece of hardware worldwide for around a year now.

He's doing great in my book.
Dark5tar1  +   962d ago
He got lucky with the Wii, but the 3DS and Wii U will determine how well he has done. I would wait till the end of this gen to determine if he should concede.

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