After what has been, to say the least, a tumultuous 12 months for Nintendo, President Satoru Iwata has decided things need to change. However, Iwata’s change won’t be on a global scale but rather the personal one.
As revealed earlier today, the consistent face — aside from NOA’s Reggie Fils-Aime — of the Nintendo brand has taken a 50% pay cut. The news comes shortly after an official Nintendo sales report, which confirmed the Wii U‘s poor performance over the holidays. Said pay cut will last for the next five months.
In addition to Iwata’s 50% pay cut, several unnamed Nintendo executives will also take a 20 or 30% pay cut. Among those executives who voluntarily took pay cuts is Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind many of Nintendo’s flagship franchises (Mario, Zelda).
Although Iwata’s is the more unexpected of the pay cut announcements, the fact that many members of Nintendo’s higher-ups are slashing their income speaks volumes. This, of course, isn’t the first time they have done so. Back when the 3DS was struggling, several Nintendo executives took pay cuts of about 50%. However, as we know, the 3DS was able to bounce back, and is now selling extremely well.
Nintendo is likely hoping for a similar outcome for the Wii U after this series of pay cuts, but there is no guarantee that relief is in sight. There’s no denying something needs to change, especially after sales forecasts for Nintendo in their fiscal year took a terrible nose dive.
For the 3DS, the answer was a price drop and some killer first party titles, but both those scenarios have already come to pass for the Wii U. Granted, there are still some big flagship titles — The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros. — and those should boost the Wii U’s profile, but it’s unclear by how much.
Similarly, talk will continue to manifest regarding Nintendo as a pure software company rather than as a hardware manufacturer. For as much as Nintendo suggests such an outcome is not in their plan, there aren’t too many options after these pay cuts, the announcement of big games, and a price drop for the Wii U. Still, it’s not worth counting out the Mario publisher, especially after the outrageous success of the Wii.
What do you make of Iwata and other Nintendo executives taking a pay cut? Do you think Nintendo will improve in 2014?