News Article

Nintendo Is Shutting Down Its Taiwan Subsidiary

Posted by Jake Shapiro

Nintendo Phuten employees will leave by the end of this month

The Big N's Taiwanese subsidiary, Nintendo Phuten, will shut down at the end of May with employees leaving by the end of this month, Taiwanese website GNN reports. Nintendo Phuten is responsible for distribution and sales of the company's hardware and software in Taiwan; with a population of over 23 million, the country is an important market for Nintendo.

Cuts to financial profit projections and lower-than-expected worldwide sales are contributory factors that mean this doesn't come as much of a surprise; in the meantime, Nintendo Phuten's responsibilities will be handed over to Nintendo Hong Kong.

Is this just a sign of things to come for Nintendo, or a minor adjustment? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

[via polygon.com, neogaf.com]

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User Comments (64)

AdanVC

#3

AdanVC said:

I just hope this doesn't become another Nintendo is doomed trend of the week because (unfortunately) we've seen many different gaming companies doing the same with their studios/subsidaries lately, specially with Sony even if they are enjoying good PS4 sales. Gaming industry as a whole is in a not so healthy position right now and it affects everyone, not just Nintendo even if it's the company who is suffering the most right now. Best wishes to all of those who lost their job : /

Hy8ogen

#4

Hy8ogen said:

My guts is telling me they are going to go Nintendo Asia instead of each individual country, similarly to Nintendo EU/NA. Since gamers in Asia is in such minority, they do not each offices in individual countries.

I mean, recently China has lifted their game console ban and gaming piracy in Asia is dying slowly (People are now willing to purchase original games). Who knows, I could be totally wrong with this. But if I'm right, Nintendo is going to be marching into a gold mine.

GougeMan

#12

GougeMan said:

Something bigger could be in the works. Just hold on and see where this leads...

Shworange

#14

Shworange said:

@Falco
What's worse, WiiU sales are about half of what Sega Dreamcast's were at the same time in it's life span. God I hope there's a plan...

Emblem

#16

Emblem said:

People and the media need to stop with the Sony is bankrupt and Nintendo is doomed nonsense, these guys buy and sell assets all the time and as businesses they are constantly consolidating and expanding where necessary. Just enjoy the products and leave the business and analysis to the experts.

A logical observation would be that China's recently relaxing laws make Taiwan's office obsolete (unfortunately for staff there), not sure if you realize but Taiwan is less than 100 Miles to China.

TreesenHauser

#17

TreesenHauser said:

Let's see how many news outlets over-exaggerate this story and start pushing more doom-n-gloom articles about Nintendo as a result. :-P

I wouldn't say it's anything more than a minor adjustment.

RoomB31

#22

RoomB31 said:

Its sad, but lets be honest, 1) I think Hong Kong can handle it (although they should up employees even if ever so slightly). 2) that Sony has had waay more financial hardships as of this moment , like selling their HQ and many other issues. Nintendo is simply re-evaluating they expenses-vs-return, and I guess this is where they saw little utility. But never cool to see people lose their jobs.

minotaurgamer

#26

minotaurgamer said:

@AdanVC Exactly. People tend to ignore that there's a huge and deep economic turmoil around the world and many industries are having huge shake ups and gaming is no exception. PS4 sales aren't that healthy when they are inspected closely and Nintendo has always been very careful about cutting things to reduce risks.

jakysnakydx

#28

jakysnakydx said:

I REALLY don't like the question at the end of the article. Not every move is a foreshadowing of terrible events to come. Every company makes adjustments in scope and scale especially in regards to sales territories including Apple, Microsoft, Sont and Google. I know its a provoker question but i dont thinkwe need to turn on the blender here.

minotaurgamer

#29

minotaurgamer said:

@Shworange Different times and economy. Right now less people is spending in game consoles than before. Release the gamecube and the DC in an economic recession and the reults will be the same.

@Hy8ogen Taiwan= Republic of China. VERY different than THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA.
So yeah not the same.

Player4

#31

Player4 said:

Hmm, I guess we will have to wait for clarifications from Nintendo. Until then we shouldn't speculate and cast doom on Nintendo.

Also, while Taiwan technically is part of China many regard them as separate 'countries' from an economical and cultural standpoint. I'm not sure though, so someone may correct me

Hy8ogen

#32

Hy8ogen said:

@Player4 You are correct. Taiwan is a province of China, this whole malarcky begins way back in Chinese civil war back in the 1950s. The Republic of China has ceased to exist since 1949 and the name is mentioned just to stir up political issues.

Pod

#33

Pod said:

Scandinavia has about that population, but doesn't have a Nintendo subsidiary as such. Only a couple offices for support. Distribution is handled by Bergsala AB of Sweden.

Samurai_Goroh

#34

Samurai_Goroh said:

Taiwan is an independent country in my books. It is separate from China de facto, has it's own government, currency and president. But China will never recognise it as a de jure sovereign nation. Up to the 1970's, Taiwan even had a seat on the UN. Many countries keep close diplomatic ties with Taiwan but have to tread carefully not to upset China.
The name is not mentioned to stir political issues, it is mentioned because there are 23 million people living there that want nothing to do with Beijing.

unrandomsam

#35

unrandomsam said:

@AdanVC Probably a prerequisite to being able to sell anything in China after the ban is lifted. (If it hasn't been already).

Hy8ogen

#36

Hy8ogen said:

@Samurai_Goroh Taiwan is not a country on its own, it is a part of China. FACT. From a historical and political stand point, the debate has been going on for more than half a century and will probably be going on for another.

The name is not mentioned to stir political issues, it is mentioned because there are 23 million people living there that want nothing to do with Beijing

You just contradicted yourself. Also, did you know that almost 70% of the Taiwanese themselves opposed the "Taiwan independence"? So yeah, not all 23 million of them.

somari

#38

somari said:

It's bad news but people will go over the top because of it (Nintendo is doomed). It's sad people lost there jobs but thats the way business goes.

Samurai_Goroh

#39

Samurai_Goroh said:

@Hy8ogen I don't think I have contradicted myself, no. The people of Taiwan do not wish to be ruled by Beijing, they want and so far have managed for decades to coexist peacefully and live in a democratic society, unlike China. You seem to adhere closely by the Beijing official position. I will not pursue this matter further, we're not here to discuss politics. But I'm just curious, what is your stance on Tibet by the way?

Hy8ogen

#40

Hy8ogen said:

@Samurai_Goroh I do not adhere to any political parties nor nations. I'm just speaking the facts. I apologize if this is a sensitive issue to you. As for my stance on the Tibetan issue (again you might not like my answer), they are a part of China.

The relationship between Tibet and China is way clearer than the relationship between Taiwan and China. This whole issue was stirred by the West and Dalai Lama. Again this is not me being biased towards anybody, and I'm not saying whose in the wrong or right. These are just plain facts.

And before you continue, no Ukraine is not a part of Russia, and yes Hawaii is a part of the USA.

ReigningSemtex

#42

ReigningSemtex said:

Unfortunate for everyone that has lost jobs over this decision but I don't think it's anything for Nintendo fans to worry about I'm sure the house of mario is cooking something up.

Meaty-cheeky

#43

Meaty-cheeky said:

Sad news for the people that lost there jobs, but good news overall in knowing that Nintendo is being financially wise with there money by cutting unnecessary waste on the company, If Nintendo Hong Kong can do the same job, then there is no reason for Nintendo of Taiwan.

A financially secure Nintendo is good for all of us gamers.

Jayvir

#44

Jayvir said:

I'm guessing this isn't just about budget cuts as Nintendo was also hiring and building new buildings as well.

ULTRA-64

#45

ULTRA-64 said:

I would assume they would be looking into the China market right now, that includes regional offices and production due to government constraints. They could just be moving resources!!

Hy8ogen

#46

Hy8ogen said:

@noctowl Prove me wrong then? With official facts and not with history and politics. Those kind of debates always end badly.

Action51

#47

Action51 said:

Hah, the delusional Nintendo fanboys will claim this might not be proof that Nintendo is doomed and this is not a reason to throw your Nintendo products out the window, burn them, and then throw salt on the ashes.

Those Nintendo fanboys! Always trying to convince us that every little piece of news isn't the final nail in Nintendo's coffin!

Artwark

#48

Artwark said:

@Action51 You do know that other companies are also suffering besides Nintendo right? Such as Enix, Capcom, and many others.

But anyways, this looks really bad......Those poor employees.......I'm scared about this. :(

WaLzgiStaff

#49

WaLzgi said:

@Hy8ogen Actually there is much debate on whether or not Taiwan is independent. They have their own country statistics (GDP, etc.) and Google recognizes them as separate from China.

brucelebnd

#50

brucelebnd said:

I think it's a good sign. Nintendo may want to be helping it's relations with mainland china and no better way to do that then close down shop in taiwan.

if nintnedo gets better access into mainland china's markets they make a killing. nintendo naturally is in a much better position for sales in china because many nintendo games will easily get past censorship.

what's Sony or MS without FPS? no fan services games either. so basically all either has would be sports games and that's it.

so if nintendo opens a new office in china, I think nintendo is going to crush the competetion

Tsuchinoko

#51

Tsuchinoko said:

There really needs to be a central Asian office to handle Nintendo distribution in the continent outside of Japan. I think setting up shop in Shanghai or to have Hong Kong be their central hub would be best.

I do think this might not be the best place for a political argument.

Nimious

#52

Nimious said:

@brucelebnd ....The lack of logic and business rational is astounding.

Nintendo will not better relations with China by closing down on Formosa. It doesn't improve relations one bit and will not alter the handicaps that Nintendo has regardless.

Do understand that it's 2014 not 1970. The business world is largely set apart from the political world. When it comes to business there's no grudge between China and Formosa. Take a look at how the two have traded over the past decade, it will only rise. Thus if Nintendo closes down on Formosa it doesn't affect the decision of Chinese consumers or do anything towards relations.

Remember the rules in China is that if you want to sell games here you make them here and that will not change. There will be no exceptions for foreigners including Sony and Microsoft until new unlikely legislation appear.

What this is, is a bad sign. Waning markets outside of Japan has caught up and forced the closure of one subsidiary. I wouldn't be surprised if other subsidiaries and headquarters close at the rate or lack of rate Nintendo is earning income.

Nimious

#53

Nimious said:

@noctowl Wrong huh...? You want to explain to me how he had it wrong?

I'd rather not go through a history lesson but if a political party migrates to an island under the control of a sovereign nation and called it its own is it an official nation?

There's plenty of examples throughout history that would say otherwise. The West is notoriously hypocritical when it comes to these matters. When it aligns with their interests they will support it without a doubt but when it happens to themselves or their allies it's apparently "illegal".

I don't want to go on a rant but when you're supposedly democratic how can you dissolve parliament when people are voting to separate and form their own nation and call the nation they formed illegitimate when you are calling nations legitimate when they are formed on other sovereign nations through weapons and violence? Democracy huh?

Had Mao's China been a closer ally to the West they would have easily condemned Taiwan and it wouldn't be recognized today. That wasn't the case so instead they choose to ignore all the historical and social contexts involved that proves Formosa is a part of China and call Taiwan a country.

andrea987

#54

andrea987 said:

@Hy8ogen That's why this is not the place to discuss it. Also, if there is a debate, as you said, it's not 'facts'. Furthermore, don't feel obliged to correct any poster you think might be wrong, it's not healthy, for you and for the website, thanks.

Hy8ogen

#55

Hy8ogen said:

@andrea987 Please read carefully before you respond. I said Historic and Political debates, not the fact that Taiwan is a part of China. However, thank you for the suggestion :)

Hy8ogen

#56

Hy8ogen said:

@Nimious After reading the terms and conditions from the Shang Hai game censorship department....it's pretty bleak. Basically all they can sell there are Mario and Knack....Lets hope the department revise their criteria, otherwise I don't see how it is going to work out.

Nimious

#58

Nimious said:

@Hy8ogen I haven't read up on censorship laws in China in months so thanks for reminding me to check up on it again.

Though I was aware China would likely ban plenty of games I didn't think it'd be as bad as just Mario and Knack. I just read the rules and really they could apply to just about any game if you think about it.

Personally I never saw China as a saving grace for Nintendo. It's ignorant to believe that entering a large new market equals success. China has so many obstacles that makes it difficult for any foreign video game company to profit there. To list a few they're most interested in mobile gaming and piracy.

If Nintendo manages to make things work that'd be fantastic but what they really should be doing to enter China is putting Nintendo games onto mobiles. Considering that smartphones in China are not only more powerful than the 3DS but also a lot cheaper it would be hard for the average consumer to justify buying a 3DS for the limited amount of games allowed in China over an Android phone that does far more.

Rect_Pola

#60

Rect_Pola said:

Good E3. They must have a good E3. Question is, would they really pull the plug on the Wii U vs inject some new life into it? I say it's too early, but when was the last truly new thing (not on the eshop) that's been announced?

Dark-Link73

#62

Dark-Link73 said:

"...this doesn't come as much of a surprise..."

I'm sorry but when I keep on reading news articles on how even though Nintendo has posted losses for two years straight, they have enough cash reserves to last them 20 to 30 years; news like this DO come as a big surprise!

Henmii

#64

Henmii said:

I feel bad for the employees, of course.

But for the consumers: As long as they can get their Nintendo goods, I think they're okay.

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