News Article

Investor Approval Rating For Satoru Iwata Drops To 77.26 Precent

Posted by Damien McFerran

Down from 90.60 percent last year

Nintendo has just released this year's investor approval ratings for its top staff, and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has seen his score drop from 90.60 percent last year to 77.26 percent. In contrast, the rest of the company's executives all scored over 90 percent.

Recently, Iwata clarified comments he made some time ago about stepping down if certain sales targets were not met.

Iwata denied stating that he would step down if profits didn't hit the predicted levels, but with investors appearing to lose confidence, the pressure on the top man is higher than ever. Hopefully the robust health of the 3DS — combined with a resurgence in Wii U sales towards Christmas — can help relieve some of that.

Never mind investors — do you have confidence in Iwata's abilities to turn things around? Drop a comment to let us know your feelings.

[via nintendo.co.jp, kotaku.com]

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User Comments (83)

Tmdean

#1

Tmdean said:

If Iwata gets forced out, the next CEO will probably take Nintendo 3rd party. If that happens, Nintendo's days will be numbered.

BlackStar9000

#2

BlackStar9000 said:

Hmm, Im first? well then, Mr Iwata is sorely out of touch with modern gamers which is why he came west to learn more about the market, hopefully he does, the Online component of Nintendo is lacking and their failure to transition over to HD with AAA titles at the ready is hurting them so much that they have lost a decent amount of their fanbase. Not me, but Ive seen too many ppl who still dont even know what a Wii U is, that is an EPIC failure, stop being so damn cheap Nintendo, and the next console you make needs to be able to compete in the power department as well. Still luv ya.

edhe

#3

edhe said:

Come on, Iwata! More throw-away phone games and insidious downloadable content!

Pianist88

#6

Pianist88 said:

While the head of any corporation bears a significant weight of responsibility and accountability, I oftentimes wonder how fair it is assume that the successes and failures are entirely their doing. For example, the president of the USA only makes so many decisions. Some of those are shot down by other factions of the government while other decisions are made and enacted without the president really taking any part. I suppose someone has to take the fall, but it is unlikely that any significant change will occur just because a new guy is giving the speeches.

erv

#8

erv said:

Iwata has been the man to lead nintendo to greatness in the first place. After the n64 and gamecube nintendo was no longer the main name in gaming activity. Wii turned that around completely.

I think he's the man for the job. Whatever happens, though, nintendo should never go the 3rd party route. That is a major risk to its quality perception, which is what keeps them in the business in the first place.

Investors usually aren't visionary enough to look beyond bent statistics anyways, so this doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

duality

#9

duality said:

I do believe that he can turn it around but i'm starting to think that it won't be this year. Personally I think Nintendo will be forced to do over the next couple of years what they should have been doing in the last couple and that's mainly expand rather intensively and perhaps look at buying some studios - It may shoot their profitability in the short term if they do BUT if they're smart about it and buy ATLUS for instance and perhaps a western developer or two for fps/tps and/or some of their old sports games (wave racer, 1080, FZERO etc) they'd be able to really beef out their portfolio with more genres that they aren't as good at making at the moment - it would also mean more games in general being made for their systems in general which i think many of us can agree on - can't be trusted to come from 3rd parties at the moment

I honestly believe that by the end of this generation they need to be able to honestly turn around and be able to carry their next console solely by themselves and i'm talking the next six months style of console releases on the wii u constantly.

This constant talk of going third party however needs to stop and i think that beefing up their internal development to the state of being able to rely solely on themselves is what they need to be aiming at.

jayclayx

#10

jayclayx said:

I just want games, actually I dont care who is the president, resurgence of the wii u till christmast?... well seriously I don't see the reason why this guys released this console last year if they were not ready at all with the games.

onlyaman

#11

onlyaman said:

Never mind investors? I AM an investor. I bought big before the release of the 3DS and the announcement of the WiiU.... right before the stock took its biggest dive.

I still have the stock, though it is only worth a fraction of what it once was. I am holding onto the hope that Nintendo will capture the world's imagination again some day... I didn't say I was the smartest investor.

But for what it's worth, this investor is an Iwata fan.

Mk_II

#12

Mk_II said:

as if replacing Iwata would magically turn the Wii U into a success. Nintendo will be fine once the big ticket games arrive. And Iwata, who is also responsible for the incredible succesful DS and Wii consoles, will be fine as well. Besides: Japanese business culture is not the same as elsewhere where CEO's are hired and fired every other year

bezerker99

#13

bezerker99 said:

I like Iwata and I think Nintendo can right the ship. Hopefully this upcoming Christmas season will be the turning point that get's Nintendo going back in the right direction. The 3DS is doing fine, it's that Wii U (which hasn't seen any advertising here in the North American continent) that is struggling.

rmeyer

#15

rmeyer said:

@bezerker99 it had advertising, but it was horrible. The Wii u commercials looked like the surface ones and completely sucked. The newer animal crossing commercials were fantastic and appealed to the masses and quickly explained what it is.

World

#17

World said:

If that photo is any indication, he's at least confident in his ability to turn things around.

BossBattles

#18

BossBattles said:

People literally don't know your new console exists or that it even is a new console. That is a massive failure.

I appreciate them doing "their own thing", but it would be intelligent to be competitive on multiple levels just so you are perceived as such by all the dummies out there that otherwise will never take notice.

GiftedGimp

#20

GiftedGimp said:

@Tmdean Agree, Look at Atari and more Recently Sega, both Hardware Manufacturing Game publishers and both not even close to what they were in their hardware manufacturing hayday. (Are Atari even around now?)
Its a Knock-on effect of no longer creating hardware to match your game idea's and having to make games fit hardware. A lot of creativity is lost in the process, which is what makes Nintendo THE top games publisher.

shinesprite

#21

shinesprite said:

I think Iwata mostly makes the right decisions for the company, it's just that sometimes, there is no 'right' answer.

True, more commercials and promotions would help, but at the same time, I think the ignorant consumer's are to blame.

BossBattles

#22

BossBattles said:

Sorry nintendo, but much of gamig culture has devolved into dew dudbro and hipster mentality....not sure what i would do either....

Lin1876

#24

Lin1876 said:

As the boss he ultimately has to take responsibility if things go wrong. Indeed, I suspect he might have been gone already if Nintendo was an American company. It's clear that Iwata wants Nintendo to be isolationist, or at the very least wants them to not engage with the rest of the industry more than they have to. Since he arrived in 2002, Nintendo have been out of sync. This has worked very well in the past (Wii, DS, 3DS to a more limited extent), but seems to be hurting the Wii U.

The reason, in my opinion, is that Nintendo are now targeting gamers on the PS3/360. That's fine, but they will be far less willing to tolerate a patchy online infrastructure, the lack of a good voice chat system, no unified accounts, missing analogue triggers and similar problems. There's a critical distinction between being "different" and being "out of touch", and Iwata seems unable to see that. If he has to go for Nintendo to turn themselves round then so be it.

Pod

#25

Pod said:

I'm sure the drop only occurs because of the confusion about his statements, and the continuing non-presence of Wii U advertisement on-line, on tv, or anywhere.

I could see how investors would be worried that Nintendo didn't have a clue how to sell their system.

I think they do though. And I think they're safe-guarding their strategy until the games they trust to sell the system are out.

hydeks

#26

hydeks said:

I have confidence in Iwata, people need to get off this guys back about every lil' thing, I personally thought he was doing a great job :P

xKing_Koopahx

#27

xKing_Koopahx said:

Doesn't make sense to me at all.. That Nintendo always say they dont care about hardware.. And then when they introduce a new piece of hardware they always highlight a certain phrase " now with this new hardware, we can truly immerse the player in our captivating gameplay, graphics" ect... Why didnt they make a system like a ps4 or a Xbox one and just add their Nintendo touch to it like the game pad or the miiverse but not separate themselves from other company's and be able to have every single game they do plus their "gimmick" then there will be no ifs and buts for them to really get their fans back

SCAR392

#28

SCAR392 said:

Just wait until PS4 and Xbox One come out. That's when Nintendo will take action.

Klimbatize

#29

Klimbatize said:

@SCAR392 "Just wait until PS4 and Xbox One come out. That's when Nintendo will take action."

Yup, and that action might be firing Iwata.

Why would you wait until other companies do something to act?

jayclayx

#30

jayclayx said:

@xKing_Koopahx Finally a person who thinks like me, seriously I dont know why Nintendo strives to go opposite to ps4|xbone, I don't think the isolation philosophy is a good idea this days.

duality

#31

duality said:

@xKing_Koopahx because it would be way to bloody expensive honestly. they'd need to use a loss-leader strategy and that's the reason why sony burned through all their ps2 and ps1 profit this generation as they slowly made the ps3 cheaper. While Nintendo MIGHT have the money to do something like this its extremely high risk especially since they would only have the 3ds to offset those losses

banacheck

#32

banacheck said:

I hope for Nintendo sake this Xmas thay do well, but i've got a feeling things are not going to go there way, this Xmas.

AJWolfTill

#34

AJWolfTill said:

I'm fine avertising wise, here in the UK the 3ds has really been recieving a great amount of advertising and that is clearly because it has reached a stage in it's life where it has something to cater to everyone's interests, and so it is selling. While I bought my Wii U because I have confidence that it will reach the same situation, the internal development teams haven't yet shown me something for it which fills me with hope (excluding Pikmin). Although the line-up is strong for the rest of the year (due to overdue releases and Ubisoft titles), I can't help but square some of the blame on Iwata for the projects which seem to be getting focus. If this console is going to mirror the gamecube in sales it darn well better deliver the fantastic library!

Dogpigfish

#35

Dogpigfish said:

I think he should be on the way out. Having him as the spokesman for Nintendo America over Reggie is a joke. I've said this once before, get him off the Nintendo Directs and get someone who is willing to invest in more software properties. No more 2d rehashes. I don't care if you place Major Nelson as the spokesman.

mk7master

#36

mk7master said:

I feel like nintendo can turn this around. especially with all the new titles coming out,but i feel like if they want to make real profit they should release some of the highly anticipated titles sooner than 2014.

element187

#38

element187 said:

@Tmdean Doubtful... If investors tried to force this Nintendo would go back to being a private company... the CEO that would replace Iwata would probably share the companies vision of remaining a platform holder... People only have to point to SEGA and how their software quality dropped through the floor after becoming third party to know how bad it would be if NIntendo followed suit.

cogb1983

#39

cogb1983 said:

I strongly, deeply recommend Nintendo to buy Capcom. That would be great since Capcom has a lot of Western-accepted IP which, as Nintendo exclusive content, can invigorate Wii U and 3DS sales. Moreover, NIntendo's and Capcom's IP catalogue are compatible since they imported Megaman recently, didn't they?

SteveW

#40

SteveW said:

I want to believe they are on the verge of announcing something huge like a Wii U 3DS/DS player. If not, most of their other efforts to revive the Wii U lead me to believe they are clueless.

DerpSandwich

#41

DerpSandwich said:

I really can't blame them. Nintendo has made a long slew of bad decisions over the last several years--decisions that any schmuck could have told them were bad. Coming off the high of the Wii's success they're really out of touch with what we want and what's best for their company. And while I'm sure a lot of different people make decisions around there, investors are going to blame the guy on the top.

NorthLightSuplx

#42

NorthLightSuplx said:

He is the only upper level executive that I know that would take a 50% cut in pay like Iwata did after not meeting sales expectation with the 3DS. I have the most respect for Mr. Iwata and he is why I am Nintendo exclusive.

Dogpigfish

#44

Dogpigfish said:

@element187
Sega never wanted to go the software route and liquidate their manufacturing. They would still have consoles if it weren't for piracy. Nindi is around because of their strong partnership with IBM and this business knowledge of software theft security protocols. Some could argue sega piracy sprang from overpriced software, so perhaps new developers should be concerned about pricing.

MrGawain

#45

MrGawain said:

Just remember business is not all about sales figures- costs are just important. Iwata could easily go and chuck half of Nintendo's cash reserve away on expensive new product or give it away with a price reduction, but if he didn't make that money back then he certainly would be out. Mario 3d, Wind Waker, Donkey Kong and even to an extent Mario Kart and Smash Bros are games that obviously don't cost as much to make as a Mario Galaxy U/Zelda U/Metroid U, but will still make the company money.

I always wondered if the reason the PS3 and Xbox 360 hung around so long was to was they had to wait to hit a certain overall profit margin that was hard to do with the early losses on consoles that cost more than they were selling for.

NintyMan

#46

NintyMan said:

Here we go again with people saying Iwata should step down. It's not going to happen. By not reducing but expanding power by becoming the CEO of North America, Iwata was showing that he's not going anywhere. If he was an American CEO, he would be long gone, but Japanese business doesn't work that way. If Iwata were to resign, it would bring dishonor on not only him but the man who appointed him to the post, former president Yamauchi, who is still a significant shareholder for Nintendo.

The key word here is patience. In Summer 2011 people thought that the 3DS was going downhill, but now look at it. Starting with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze this November, I expect the Wii U to start climbing up. Super Mario 3D World, Wii Fit U, and Wii U Party will push it up even higher. And once Mario Kart 8 is out next Spring, it'll be foolish to speak doom and gloom about the Wii U.

dumedum

#47

dumedum said:

wait, what? What is investor approval? is that a Japanese thing? this report is much without enough information and context.

Xiao_Pai

#48

Xiao_Pai said:

insert video of two Benders saying" Dooooooooooooomed!" here lol
Anyways Nintendo isn't dying, or going anywhere...they made a crappy launch for the Wii U, of course...But like with the 3DS it'll pick up again once games like Pikmin 3 and 3D World hits.

smashbrolink

#49

smashbrolink said:

@Tmdean That just won't happen. It's a company policy at this point that they'll never go third party. They'd make far less money going third party.

TooManyToasters

#50

TooManyToasters said:

Meh. The investment community to me is like a rich man's fanclub. If you're not totally into that sort of thing then you're labeled an outsider.

progx

#51

progx said:

@Tmdean Doubtful. Nintendo has a BIG cash reserve. Sega was flop, after flop, after flop. None of Nintendo's consoles have EVER sold below the millions. A few of Sega's systems did not even crack 1 million. Not to mention, Nintendo has never been irrational or quick to turn the ship around. Although, if Nintendo did decide to leave the hardware game, they should just lock everything in a vault and make play cards.

Gunnerholic

#53

Gunnerholic said:

@Pianist88 I would think Iwata is quite hands on with the strategic planning of Nintendo. The blueprint that was set out after the Gamecube was very much Iwata's doing, I remember him coming out and saying that the day of Nintendo competing for the most powerful console around was over, hardware designs were to be more innovative. This worked for a while, the Wii and DS were a breakout success but as everybody knows the casual market moved on and Nintendo failed to have a plan b in place.

Peach64

#55

Peach64 said:

I think Iwata comes across as a very nice guy, but I'd like to see him step down. I think a lot of people just automatically consider the head guy being replaced as a bad thing, but I think of how many great Nintendo games came out between 91 and 2002, compared to 2002 and 2013, and it was way better before.

@progx Can you name the few Sega consoles that sold below a million? Because as far as I knew their lowest selling console was the Saturn, with 9.4 million. Coincidentally, the last 'current' console to sell under 40k units in a single month in North America was the Saturn, but the Wii U has now matched that for 3-4 months in a row.

WaveWarlock

#56

WaveWarlock said:

Iwata out. Howard Phillps in ;)
Untitled
I'm not kidding. Iwata is stiffer than the nutcracker, his personality is a zero and he sounds like a robot.

SteveW

#58

SteveW said:

@defrb
You are right, it's going to take something huge to help the Wii U, people need to be blown away by something... remember how it was when we first saw Mario 64?

Doma

#59

Doma said:

@shinesprite Hell no, man.. The customer is always right. If they're ignorant, it's because of the company's inefficiency to properly explain and advertise stuff (WiiU would probably have done as poorly even with advertising though, imo). They alone are responsible for their failure.

Btw personally, i think the best thing to do at this point is scrap the WiiU and transfer all resources to the 3ds. Get that Pikmin, DK and Mario 3d Land sequel to the 3ds, pronto. They'd make great portable games! haha. Then afterwards maybe think about the possibility of TV link-up as a secondary feature for the 3ds' successor, for their last foray.

Because really, how often do we get a home console level game from Nintendo nowadays (in scope) that's far beyond what their handheld would be capable of? Not often enough. It's like they don't seem cut out for it... otherwise they wouldn't be so desperate to make a quick buck off casuals all the time.

ecco6t9

#60

ecco6t9 said:

The largest shareholder still wants Iwata in charge. And in Japan that says something.

Mr_Vengeance

#61

Mr_Vengeance said:

The day Ninty goes completely Free-to-play download only DLC-mad is the day I hang up my modern control pad and just buy up old games and systems.

progx

#62

progx said:

@Peach64 Sorry. I meant to say all of Nintendo's consoles have been in the double digit millions or higher. The worst selling console does go to Sega, Nomad, barely 1 million sold. Wii U doesn't have too far to go to eclipse the Saturn's 9 million. Nintendo has sold over 700 million combined console and handheld units throughout its lifetime

Goginho

#63

Goginho said:

I'm a little late to comment here, and I noticed some share the same opinion as I do. I also think that Nintendo shouldn't take the 3rd party route as mentioned by some commenters, seeing as how that would make three major companies be very, very similar to one another ..having the same philosphy. Nintendo is unique at the moment, they stand out. Obviously the others are well known for what they put out on the market, and what they've already managed to popularize, and Nintendo clearly choked a little in the beginning with the 3DS, and now with the Wii U, in the marketing department, but that's all about to turn around sooner or later (if it hasn't already for the 3DS). And thus I believe that there is no other man more ideal for the job than Iwata. Back then the Gamcube was a very powerful console, and yet didn't have the same amount of success as the Wii. Succeeding the Wii is no easy task, and therefore will require some patience, so it's not Iwata's wrongdoing ..it's nobody's (except maybe the marketing and promotion was a little off), it's just that the circumstances are as such. You got the pressures of following up on the Wii, the pressures of other technologies rapidly advancing and becoming popular (smartphones, tablets...), even becoming replacements, you got the pressures of financial crisis...etc.

Nictendo64

#64

Nictendo64 said:

Why is there always someone who actually thinks Nintendo should go third party? That will NEVER happen, EVER. So please stop suggesting it.
I think Nintendo would be doing better if they started publishing more games and buying out companies like MS did a while back.
Also, the eShop is a wreck. I've been waiting for that D&D game all last month, and it never came out. They need to push at least 2 new indie games every Thursday because besides Mutant Mudds, nothing has been coming out.

MeWario

#65

MeWario said:

@onlyaman Investing after the Wii and DS is a bold move haha but good luck! I think Iwata is doing a good job; sales for 3DS are humming along and WiiU is due a turn around. This generation was never going to be as profitable for Nintendo. A lot of casual gamers bought a Wii/DS and then never used them, they won't make the same mistake twice.

xNoktemAeternus

#66

xNoktemAeternus said:

i read another comment about this on kotaku i think was correct, he has stepped into the limelight with the nintndo directs and has become and known figure and now takes more blame than instead of if he was a faceless exec

grimbldoo

#68

grimbldoo said:

@Tmdean #1
Iwata may be the CEO, but Nintendo is run by a head of six, and the remaining five would never let that happen.

Pierceton

#69

Pierceton said:

@BlackStar9000 I don't think their is a crazy hardware problem it does hurt the third part support. I would say they need to focus on new types of game though Mario sells well so would some new/old ip. Also to touch on your point of nobody knowing what it is Wii U was a very bad name choice. Wii 2 would have been better a brand new name all together would have been nice or my favorite idea the Ultra Nintendo Entertaiment System or UNES for short might have hit better with gamers. That being said a good Metroid with online multiplayer should have been a day one release with promise of dlc. A lot of fsp games are running together if they could have offered something new in the genre with the console instead we got zombie u with no online multiplayer...

Burning_Spear

#70

Burning_Spear said:

I like Iwata, but he completely bungled the past two launches and did irreparable damage to Wii U in the process. I'd be angry if I were an investor. There is no way I'd want him anywhere near the next console launch.

shuis

#71

shuis said:

I want to see Nintendo fully merge the home console/portable console. Unveil it within a year or so and match the power/architecture of PS4/Xbox One and it puts Nintendo back into running for 3rd party and competes with tablets/smartphones. I have yet to see an affordable tablet that can game like one of these home console machines. Accomplish that, and Nintendo dominates this generation and brings innovation.

cheleuitte

#73

cheleuitte said:

Nintendo will have a bust in sales after those E3 games hit the market, I have the hope that WiiU will be the best-selling next-gen console of this generation!!!

onlyaman

#74

onlyaman said:

@MeWario Yes, hindsight is indeed 20:20. At the time, a 3D screen sounded like the best thing since mashed potatoes. As it turns out, the 3DS is indeed amazing, but by the time everyone actually figured this out, the damage to Nintendo stock had already been done. The WiiU has dropped the stock a bit, but the biggest hit actually occurred after the perceived "failure" of the 3DS. With stock prices, public perception is everything- actual performance is much less important.

Araknie

#75

Araknie said:

These are the same people that wanted Nintendo to drop the hardware market and go multiplatform and ios.
Really don't care about poopoopeepeecaca Patcher imitations.

SmaMan

#76

SmaMan said:

What I've noticed is that most people pass the Wii U off as a "failure" until they actually play it. Then they are totally amazed! It really is a fun and revolutionary console that has many games that people are sadly passing over. (Especially in the eShop!)

With that in mind, the big thing Nintendo needs to do now is to sell more consoles. That should be the focus. They should focus their marketing on the console, not necessarily the games. Get the consoles out the door and the games will follow. They need to make it known that the Wii U is a totally new console and not an "expansion pack" as many consumers seem to think. Yes, consumer ignorance is a problem, but at the end of the day, they are the ones who provide Iwata-san and the rest of Nintendo with their salaries.

AtomicToaster

#77

AtomicToaster said:

A little absurd. Considering the poor sales of the first year of Wiiu, it's amazing it's not even lower! A little perspective!

scrubbyscum999

#79

scrubbyscum999 said:

Iwata fan so I think he should stay. He oversaw the Wii and DS, that counts for something. He is trying hard, he wouldn't be meddling in the US more than ever if he wasn't.

cdawg

#81

cdawg said:

He may be removed so the company can blame things on him and start fresh.

Under his watch a huge part of the core nintendo fans that could have remaind loyal to the brand moved on to other systems because nintendo did not grow with them or perhaps did not give them what they wanted in a gaming experience. The casual gamer thing worked for a bit but that is no longer the case and the console market is funded by people who arent all that interested in what nintendo keeps trying to deliver. You cant ignore the core of the industry you are in and expect to survive. Not having enough first party developers on two consecutive launches is a big mistake as well.

Nintendo needs a major change of strategy and look because right now they have effectively created a stigma where 3rd party does not want to touch them and they have very few first party titles.

Get back to the SNES/N64 days. Westernize things some. Change the marketing. Bring boatloads of first party, become attractive to the core gamer again.

Yoshis_VGM

#82

Yoshis_VGM said:

I sniff Iwata hate. The fact that Iwata got a 77 while everyone else got a 90 or higher? That's obviously hate right there. Iwata can turn this around, just wait until next year...

LuigiTheGreenFire

#83

LuigiTheGreenFire said:

I think Iwata has done some good with Nintendo, but he has done a lot of damage as well (the past 2 years and now).
It is time for him to ousted as head of Nintendo and bring in a new leader. A leader who can learn from Nintendo's past mistakes and (when the time comes) make a 9th generation system that is as powerful as its competitors.
Let's face it, the Wii was mostly a 6th generation system graphically and the Wii U has seventh-gen graphics.

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