Nintendo: Iwata’s internal approval rating slumps as third year of financial loss looms – report

Tuesday, 1st April 2014 08:57 GMT By Dave Cook

Nintendo is looking at a third consecutive year of financial loss as company president Satoru Iwata’s internal approval rating slumps. That’s according to a new Nikkei report, which claims the prominent executive faces a tough challenge in June, when the board decides whether to elect a new company leader, or keep Iwata in the role.

It follows our opinion piece about why it is now time for Iwata to stand down from his role.

The Nikkei report, re-purposed by Siliconera – states that Iwata is headed towards a “June of trials,” as his internal approval rating at the company has fallen from 92.89% to 77.26%, as comprised by Nintendo’s board of directors.

This could refer to Nintendo’s General Meeting of Shareholders, which takes place every June, and looks to keep its current president or re-elect a new company head. It is implied that Iwata’s place on the board is in question.

Nikkei added that attempts to reinvent the company seem to have fallen by the wayside. It claims that one Hong Kong investor suggested that Nintendo move into smartphone games, to which the company reportedly responded, “are there any companies that make smartphone games while continually sustaining high profits?”

It is believed that for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, Nintendo could post a loss of ¥35 billion which, if accurate, would mean a slight improvement over the previous year’s ¥36.4 billion loss. It will be the third consecutive year of loss for the company. It is believed that the company currently has ¥500 billion in reserve.

The report adds that a Chinese investment company, that has been tasked with analysing Nintendo’s business, suggested that it, “ought to actively put their characters and other assets to use.” It follows plans to build a Nintendo theme park in Kyoto, Japan, but little has been heard of the matter for some time now.

It is unclear if the details within Nikkei’s report will come to light officially, but we’ll keep our eye on Iwata’s approval within Nintendo ahead of the June director’s meeting.



  1. Luciferous

    I adore Nintendo, but they haven’t really had my attention these past few years… I’m a content 3Ds owner, but nothing on the Wii U has made me want to make that leap, Bayo 2 has me intrigued, but not second console purchase intrigued – that will come with Metroid or Zelda, maybe.

    What the Chinese investment firm says about them needing to actively use their assets and characters is true, E3 needs to be big for them, really big.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. Mike W


    I agree with you. What is sad is that they’re still trying to advertise the Wii U as a “kiddy” system and that’s what’s ultimately killing them.

    The biggest mistake was appointing Iwata as president of Nintendo; his views are always short- sighted and he has truly lost touch with the market. Also, if anyone believes that Super Smash Bros. Wii and Mario Kart 8 is going to somehow turn Nintendo’s troubles around they’re just as foolish as him.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. stealth

    @Luciferous Sorry but honestly, as bad as Nintendo is doing financially, they are doing worlds better than Sony or MS

    #3 9 months ago
  4. stealth

    Wii U is actually a pretty great system, and 3DS is the best system. In 2013, they had the best year of any game company.

    The issue is we have so many people who want them to do bad it has become a self fuffiling prophecy.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. Mike W


    Also, I don’t even think they’re going to be at E3, they’re probably going to do that Nintendo Direct bullshit.

    #5 9 months ago
  6. stealth

    @Mike W 1) They were at E3 last year. 2) That Direct “Bullshit” Gets multi-million views and a lot cheaper than putting on a presser that most people slam for all the companies anyway.

    They were at E3 last year. Bigger booth too.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. antraxsuicide

    @stealth MS makes more money than Nintendo could ever dream of. Sony’s probably going bankrupt in the next 5 years, but that’s not because of Playstation.

    As for Nintendo at E3, they were not there. A shitty Direct conference that’s only viewed by people who already own Nintendo systems, filled with non-announcements and shittier sequels to games that have been done to death, is not “going to E3.” That’s shitting on a registration form, and calling it signed.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. fearmonkey

    Cant wait for the new Nintendo to arrive with more of the same.

    Seriously, it’s time for a new direction and a new course., The Wii-u might be a decent machine with great games, but it’s not really capturing the average person’s interest. The 3DS did but the Wii-u definately has not,.

    Nintendo needs to drop the kiddie game marketing and feel. Everyone knows Nintendo is the best place for family gaming, but all the hardcore and most of the adult gamers are going PS4/XB1, thats where they should market.

    they need to wait till 2015/2016 and release a new console thats more powerful than a PS4/Xb1, doesnt look kiddie or gimmicky, and have their big franchises at launch. If they can keep the price fairly cheap, that will help. the $399 for the Wii-u vs the Wii’s $250 didnt do it any favors.

    #8 9 months ago
  9. polygem

    i played through dark souls again and can´t wait for DSII PC
    i fell in love with the uberawesome war of the vikings and killed 100 hours in dayZ
    …..all great games, dark, mature….
    but nothing makes me smile more than that cheesy sounds and funny animations in yoshis new island.
    nintendo should not change too much. never. nintendo is nintendo. they should stay nintendo.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. dtyk

    @antraxsuicide Sony going bankrupt in 5 years? You are incredibly clueless.

    They have about 7 billion in cash and 150 billion in assets. Even if they have a net loss of 1 billion a year as they have been for the past 10 years, they will still be able to operate at the same scale for at least another 10 – 15 years.

    If they can’t trim the fat and turn the business around with a decade’s time, then yes they really deserve to go bankrupt. However, neither MS, nintendo, nor Sony are going bankrupt any time soon.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. fearmonkey

    @polygem – The PS4 has already caught up with the Wii-u in total sales, even though the Wii-u came out much much earlier. Nintendo cannot stay the same.

    Nintendo shouldn’t stop making their wonderful games, but their focus on hardware needs to be changed. No one bought a Wii-u yet bought a PS4/XB1. Even the Wii owners I know didnt buy a Wii-u. I don’t know a single person that bought a Wii-u.

    They need to either go back to making cheap gaming systems with a $200 price or less, or make a decent powered box again. They cant get away with making a underpowered console again. I think they need to make a powerful handheld/console hyrbrid, a handheld that docks and becomes a console. As long as they keep the price down, it will fly off of shelves.

    #11 9 months ago
  12. polygem

    i think they need to focus on one device.
    they need an affordable nintendobox.

    #12 9 months ago
  13. salarta

    Truthfully, the “make Nintendo properties available in other ways” approach is a good one. It helps visibility. In the late 80s and early 90s, at least in the United States, Nintendo stuff was everywhere. You could get cereal and card games, there were cartoons and live action segments, all of that helped to promote Nintendo (as well as Sonic) into public presence. They’re a large part of why iconic IPs became so iconic.

    And consider that today, Nintendo has 1) more money, 2) more clout, and 3) more people that would love to work with Nintendo properties. Nintendo would stand to benefit greatly by restarting its pop culture pervasiveness that they’ve let fall by the wayside since the 90s. Perhaps more importantly, since Nintendo is absolutely obsessed with Mario and only Mario, having cartoons and films and the like would be a big help for the people making the games coming up with new things to do.

    Before someone says it, I know Nintendo is still making the Pokemon anime series. The continuing popularity of Pokemon, even though it hasn’t been available on consoles, is a sign of how helpful cartoons are for Nintendo IPs, and Nintendo hasn’t done anything like that for Mario or Legend of Zelda in a long time.

    That aside, the smartphone idea is idiotic. It could be my subjectivity interfering, but I think making mobile versions of Nintendo IPs would only cheapen both perception of the IPs and the IPs themselves. Full-fledged gamers would take it as a sign the franchise has gone to pot, and many would likely avoid buying future games because they expect the games to be mere cash-ins. People that aren’t full-fledged gamers either wouldn’t bother with getting a console, or see a console version as pointless when they can do just fine with their smartphones.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. Dragon

    FYI, “stealth” is a multiple gaming site nintendo troll. Avoid that guy.

    #14 9 months ago
  15. polygem

    thank you master!

    #15 9 months ago
  16. Joe Musashi

    Nintendo desperately need to change.

    The world changes. Technology changes. Consumer demand changes. Frequently all at the same time. Frequently overnight.

    Sitting still and trading on past glories guarantees there will be an increasing gulf between you and relevance.

    Nintendo have actually acknowledged this around the time of their last earnings report. Nintendo will be changing. If you haven’t caught on to this fact then your head is buried in the sand or you have absolutely zero appreciation of the commercial world. Possibly both.


    #16 9 months ago
  17. Dragon

    @Joe Musashi,
    No, they don’t. MAGIC of NINTENDO will solve everything.

    #17 9 months ago

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