During Nintendo’s recent financial results question and answer briefing session for the fiscal year ending March 09, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was naturally bombarded with a multitude of questions related to Nintendo’s current and future financial position, as well as their plans for growth.
One of the questions, however, dealt with Nintendo’s apparent lack of ideas, as they are failing to announce compelling videogame projects currently in development at the company to keep fans of their consoles happy and eager for the future.
In Iwata’s answer, he addresses the increasing amount of burnout that consumers experience as a particular game’s marketing machine starts up, where a title could be previewed and hyped for months before the game is even released, resulting in the feeling that gamers are already “done with it prior to launch”:
“: the speed at which something new is regarded obsolete is becoming incredibly faster,” said Iwata. “Should we advertise and create a lot of buzz from many months before launch, the customers may feel as if they have gotten tired of the product even before the product launches.
“There is a risk today that they may feel that they have already experienced it enough and are done with it prior to launch.”
As a result, Nintendo are beginning to filter information about upcoming games more effectively, while keeping unannounced games close to their chest until closer to the product’s launch, in order to avoid this consumer burnout and not grow gamer’s expectations too much, which unavoidably becomes too great a challenge to meet:
“Today, if I should make such comments like “the next product we will launch will be great,” that other CEOs are often making,” Iwata continued, “people would have extraordinarily high expectations toward it and will end up feeling that it was not up to their expectations regardless of whatever product we will have launched.
“In today’s circumstance where we need to refrain from making a big announcement or sharing information much in advance of the actual launch in the marketplace, it may appear that Nintendo is not making as many new proposals as before and that the company might be running out of new ideas.”
As part of the same question regarding Nintendo’s upcoming announcements, the issue of a replacement for Nintendo’s famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto was also raised, as the company will need to foster new creative ideas in the future, in the event that Miyamoto leaves the company.
In answer to this, Iwata said that, while Miyamoto is still a unique individual, and has a unique perspective on the world which is translated into the games he helps create, “he is just another human being,” and that the games that Miyamoto is associated with were not created solely by him, but with the help of many other developers:
“: the fact that Nintendo software is always full of unique and fun ideas attest to the fact that there are many good game creators at Nintendo,” Iwata said. “Together with Shigeru Miyamoto, all of them have been making what are called Nintendo software. So, I have never thought that we have not fostered game creators at the company.
“It is one of the big themes for us to think about how we can transfer what we have learned to the younger generation who will never have the same experiences.
“We have been tackling with this mission in a variety of different ways, but I’d like to talk about them only when we can come up with some concrete result and when we will be able to tell you this developer or that, who has been trained through this way, has made such a software.”
In rounding out his answer, and to further hit home the idea that Nintendo is simply approaching the announcements of new games more strategically, Iwata said:
“We do not have any pessimistic view about it, and we have never had hard times trying to come up with new ideas. It is just that it has become increasingly harder to talk about new ideas much in advance of the actual launch of the product. Thank you for your understanding on this.”