Things are all but calm in the Nintendo camp. With fans and consumers getting a 3DS price drop out of desperation and stocks in a decline, it’s now come down to internal strife as well. Fund manager Masamitsu Ohki at the Tokyo-based Stats Investment Management explained that Nintendo has to either buy its way into the new mobile platform, or develop something new. With smartphones leading the charge, Nintendo is preferring to keep with their downladable alternatives, adamant stating that they will stay out of the mobile arena.
The debate started back in July, when the Pokemon Co. had announced plans to release an official Pokemon app for the iOS and Android devices. While the announcement boosted stockholders shares, the dream (and shares) was short-lived as Nintendo firmly said that they were only interested in developing software for their personal hardware. Sentiment after the retraction wasn’t well received.
“They just don’t get it. Sell the stock, because a management once feted for creative out-of-box thinking have just shown how behind the times they are.”
After the poor financial showing, investors are calling for the company to make use of their staggering $10 billion in sales reserves. With Nintendo’s last acquisition being back in 2007 with the purchase of Xenoblade (and look how well that’s gone), the need to expand and grow in staring Nintendo in the face. Tetsuro Ii, president of Tokyo-based Commons Asset Management agreed to as much.
“Nintendo should aggressively make acquisitions or increase returns to its shareholders, it’s management’s task to consider how to make use of the cash.”
Last month, Iwata himself shot down the possibility of granting third-party companies the rights to outside sources. Stating that the short-term prospect may be worthwhile, long-term it could damage the preservation of Nintendo
“It might be true that we could increase our short-term profit by granting licenses for our popular software assets in various ways. But what would happen to Nintendo’s future if these assets were fully depleted by licensees?”
It’s a slippery slope that Nintendo is on, and while you have to give them respect for wanting to keep their core intact, growth can never happen without change… and in this case, potentially radical change (and one that could be met with a deal with someone like Apple). The problem now is trying to fight a battle on two fronts: keeping gamers happy and now shareholders.