Baverstock: Nintendo “completely obsessed with retail,” Iwata’s GDC speech was “smack talk”

By Stephany Nunneley
20 July 2011 20:30 GMT

Ian Baverstock of Tenshi Ventures and Kuju Entertainment co-founder, told attendees at Develop that Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata’s GDC keynote decrying mobile and social games was a “shocking indictment” of how “obsessed” the firm is with retail.

Baverstock also said he feels the leeway Nintendo provides to retailers forces the industry into a “narrow distribution pipe, with huge inventory risks and huge inventory costs,” and that retailers only choose “the biggest sign” at E3 instead of looking for quality, according to

“I just don’t agree,” he said. “This lack of craftsmanship is really a reflection of Nintendo’s point of view – they are completely obsessed with retail, and have been very successful in that. Ultimately for Mr Iwata to be able to sit there and say that we’re losing craftsmanship, we’re losing skills… at the same time that Minecraft comes out, sells millions and makes one man lots of money and creates a huge public buzz, is a shocking indictment of his view of the world that we all see.

“In the end, once you get past that preachy title of why developers need to change, the reason why I’m so riled by Mr. Iwata’s point of view is that fundamentally it’s smack talk: ‘You, Mr. Developer, stay in your box, you stay down there, we’ll do with this other stuff, you just carry on making games.’

“I think that, fundamentally, Mr. Iwata’s view of this market from a value creation and number of title point of view was skewed entirely to his interests as a successful platform holder, and is in no way a reflection of what ordinary consumers want.

“It’s shocking that he can’t see that we’re leading the world – off the platform he has created – in this way. There is a lot going on; it just hasn’t happened in his space, and realistically can’t.

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