Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has stated that the company needs to focus on creating games that resonate that customers, rather than art. The point was made during a long interview with Toyo Keizai Online.
In the wake of recent dire financial results for the Wii U system, Iwata restated the beleaguered console’s place in the current game’s market with the belief that better software support in the coming months can revive its fortunes.
“It’s difficult to say ‘the Wii U is a system that does such and such’ in a simple manner, and understanding it takes time.” Iwata said. “While we unfortunately had a period in the first half of 2013 where releases were sparse and hardware sales have lulled, I don’t think that the concept and potential of the Wii U have been rejected.”
To bring customers to the platform, Iwata believes that Nintendo should not focus on making games into art, but on creating games that resonate strongly with their audience.
“Nintendo developers are extremely insatiable when it comes to whether what they make resonates with customers or not. They’ll do anything to achieve it.” Iwata said. “Both Miyamoto [Shigeru] and I repeatedly say, ‘It’s not like we are making pieces of art, the point is to make a product that resonates with and is accepted by customers’.
“Creating is like an expression of egoism,” Iwata went on to say. “People with a strong energy to create something have a ‘this is the strength I believe is right’ sort of confidence to start from. Their standpoint is that ‘this is the right thing to do, so this must be what’s good for the customer, as well.’ But the final goal of a product is to resonate with and be accepted by people. You can’t just force your way through. By saying ‘the point is to be accepted’, I mean, if you go to a customer with your idea and you realise they don’t understand it, it’s more important that they do, and you should shift your idea.”
This interview follows the news that the Wii U sold only 160,000 units worldwide between April and June. This means that, after strong launch sales, the system has shifted only 3.61 million in its lifetime.