Nintendo Facing Life-Threatening Problem Within Management

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Iwata Nintendo Wii U Right on heels of Nintendo's announced first quarter loss of nearly $100 million comes a report detailing a possible problem within the Japanese video game company's upper management, one that threatens its very existence. Japan's Business Journal claims cites Nintendo president Iwata as the problem. While most of the company's management share a strong desire to bring game franchises like Mario and Pokemon to smartphones, Iwata is adamantly against the idea, stating "Nintendo's strength is in unified development of game hardware and software." The website suggests it is perhaps Iwata's pride as a former developer of HAL Laboratory that's behind his insistence to develop games exclusively for consoles, a notion perhaps highlighted by his continual involvement with software development, despite being the company's president. According to one insider, there is also cultural friction as a result of Iwata being hired from outside the company, as well as a feeling of helplessness among “native” Nintendo executives. There is a push to have him replaced by the eclectically-named Banjo Yamauchi, former president Hiroshi Yamauchi's first son. While there is strong opposition to Iwata's viewpoint, we can see where he's coming from. Moving Nintendo's hallmark franchises to mobile devices like smartphones can severely dilute their image and feeling of exclusivity. In a gaming environment where it is the fickle, non-nostalgic Generation-Y that dictates the success of every game, they risk losing their specialness.

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