Details from Nintendo’s latest shareholders meeting – Mario Kart 8 sales top 2 million, core Wii U games, Wii U hardware, Iwata Asks update, more
Update: Event is now finished.
Nintendo is currently holding its 74th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. President Satoru Iwata isn’t in attendance as he’s still recovering from surgery, but there are still plenty of tidbits being shared.
We’ll update this post below with information that comes out from the event:
– Mario Kart 8 has sold over 2 million copies
– Wii U sales are up
Q1: How did E3 go?
A1: Watch this video. 50k industry members attend. Splatoon was introduced. GamePad-centered games Project Giant Robot, Project Guard, and Mario Maker shown. New firmware update makes use of the GamePad. High expectations for NFC figures.
Q2: How about gifts for shareholders?
A2: There are legal limitations on gifts, and we view return to shareholders as monetary. Shareholders who already own gifted products wouldn’t be happy.
Q3: When will there be new information on Zelda for Wii U? (audience laughs)
A3: Can’t answer until there’s an official announcement. (audience laughs) Hyrule Warriors is coming soon. The next official Zelda game will be open-world.
Q4: I don’t want there to be a shift from cultivating high-priced products, but there are so many people with smartphones. How will you make use of them?
A4: We are making use of smartphones in development. Not games, but supplementary tools.
Q5: I want to suggest large screens for children. Also, casinos will apparently be legalized in some places, and many people don’t know how to play casino games. How about games to teach them?
A5: Thank you for your suggestions. We will take them into consideration.
Q6: Will you be entering the Chinese market?
A6: We already have the iQue brand. Further information to come in the future.
Q7: Wii had single-player games Xenoblade and Regenleiv, how about the Wii U?
A7: Games for core users have been delayed in coming, but Monolithsoft’s Xenoblade Chronicles X will be released. Devil’s Third as well. They had a slow start, but more and more will be released. We used the term open-world games to help you understand, but in development, we don’t call them open-world games. There are games that other companies produce at great cost, and cannot become profitable without reaching the top 10. Even new titles need to be promoted in the marketplace. Leisure options have increased. Our products no longer rank as high in most-wanted product lists. The flow of information has changed greatly. We’re optimistic about using smartphones and SNS in marketing.
Q8: How confident is Takeda-san in the Wii U hardware?
A8: The Wii U is in HD, of course. We’re working hard to make good use of the GamePad. It doesn’t have a lot of memory, but it shares DNA with the GameCube in being efficient memory. I want to share that DNA with our younger staff.
Q9: I don’t know about games, and don’t care about game-related questions, but your shareholders haven’t said anything about the stock price dropping. What kind of a shareholder meeting is this? Tell me about the business administration. (audience applause)
A9: Thank you for your pointed opinion. Shareholder meetings are for us to communicate with shareholders. It’s important for shareholders to know what we as a company are doing, and what kind of entertainment we are providing.
Q10: The business has produced losses for 3 fiscal years in a row. I want to ask about management responsibility, but is there any outlook for this term 3 months in?
A10: Efforts are being made in the expansion of 3DS titles, the utilization of the Wii U GamePad, the sales of strong titles, the amendment of income and expenditure balance, and cost reduction.
Q11: I want to hold stock for about 10 years. I have misgivings about turning this company into a medical device maker. I want to ask Miyamoto-san how future games will be played.
A11: Miyamoto: Entertainment alone cannot restore earnings, high sales are also needed. The rise and fall of market cycles are intense. Thirty years ago we had loans, but now we have large cash reserves. I don’t know about 10 years from now, but I feel that accepting smartphone hand-me-downs for less than our cheapest games would be a threat. New forms of amusement are always being born, so I think we’ll make do.
Takeda: We deal with amusement, not life necessities. We’ve gone through many market cycles. We create products that make use of hardware technology, ideas, art, psychology, and so on. We want to do our best even in the different form of health. This is one form of amusement. It’s not that we are aiming for a health business.
Q12: I heard that you’re merging your home and portable development environments. Isn’t 3rd-party support weak? Especially, I think, overseas.
A12: When creating for Nintendo hardware, native or general tools could be used. I want to use standard tools as much as possible. In America, there are 30 companies on 3DS and 20 on Wii U. There are similar numbers contracted in Europe. Including downloadable software, in America there are 130 companies on 3DS and 200 on Wii U, in Europe there are 160 companies on 3DS and 115 on Wii U, and in Japan there are 140 companies on 3DS and 35 on Wii U. The Wii U hardware is not becoming widespread, so development for it is taken under careful consideration. We want to spread the Wii U through 1st-party titles to encourage development for it. The 3DS has become widespread primarily in Japan. Development is active. There are many plans to bring smart device applications to 3DS.
Q13: President Iwata owns many shares, but the other directors only hold 1 or 2 hundred each. Does this mean that they’re not responsible? Chairman Takeda, who’s worked at the company for a very long time, only holds 200 shares. (audience laughter)
A13: We don’t believe that the number of shares held has any bearing on work responsibility.
Q14: You have plans to use your characters in licensing businesses outside of video games, but what exactly are these? What is the earnings outlook?
A14: First of all, we are planning Amiibo. We are not releasing earnings projections at this time.
Q15: Iwata Asks hasn’t been updated in some time. Is there any reason for this other than his health issues?
A15: Our homepage is just one of many ways that we convey information about our products. There is the health reason, but we are considering various challenges in light of forming cooperation with our customers and best conveying our message to the greatest number of people. As for the President’s condition, he is conducting work via e-mail. Iwata Asks will be resumed thereafter.
Miyamoto: Iwata Asks not being updated has nothing to do with his condition. Considering that the PR for those interviews only reach a few people, their exposure has been reduced.
Q16: President Iwata is too sincere and seems to be taking on the company’s slump by himself. Is this the cause of his illness? Miyamoto-san seems to be aloof. (audience laughter) I want President Iwata to have that brazenness. Please tell him that. (audience laughter)
A16: Thank you for your thoughts.
Q17: Nintendo feels ebbs and flows, but isn’t this just a general trend like slumps in the movie industry?
A17: That’s a difficult question. I think that’s one large wave. Movies and other media are an example. I’ve done hardware, so here’s Miyamoto on content…
Miyamoto: (about Q16) I have anxiety too… (audience laughter) Yamauchi said that amusement media is a killer-app. We are in a transition period, and Nintendo has to grow its creativity. We don’t compete using equivalent hardware, but by making use of the hardware’s strength in uniqueness.
All 3 resolutions passed.