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."

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dedicatedtogamers2479d ago (Edited 2479d 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.

Donnieboi2479d 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.

TruthbeTold2479d 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.

ChickeyCantor2479d ago (Edited 2479d 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.

lilbroRx2479d 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?

Realplaya2479d 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.

Yodagamer2479d ago (Edited 2479d 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.

N4g_null2479d 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.

bothebo2479d ago (Edited 2479d 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.

Gr812479d ago

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.

N4g_null2479d 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.

CouldHaveYelledUiiW2479d 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.

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Xof2479d 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.

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Gr812479d ago

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.

deafdani2479d 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.

Gr812479d ago

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.

AWBrawler2479d 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.

Qrphe2479d 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.

PopRocks3592479d 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.

auragenz2479d 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.

PopRocks3592479d ago (Edited 2479d 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.


LOL_WUT2479d ago

He's had a nice run as CEO of Nintendo now is the time for him to step down.

TruthbeTold2479d 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.

Yodagamer2479d 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.

AWBrawler2479d ago

North american? If they ever americanize my nintendo, I'm moving over to PCs and MMOs

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gamer422479d 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.

PopRocks3592479d 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.

RTheRebel2479d 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 Melon2479d 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.

pythonxz2479d 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.

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