Every time Nintendo holds one of its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, its directors are faced with a new series of votes from shareholders to assess their approval ratings. Today, the day of the 80th annual meeting, is no different, and we have a record of how the votes went down below.
Shareholders were asked to vote either in favour or against company president Shuntaro Furukawa and directors, Shigeru Miyamoto, Shinya Takahashi, Ko Shiota and Satoru Shibata. Here's how they voted (with thanks to Perfectly-Nintendo for the translation):
- Shuntaro Furukawa: 937,392 votes in favour (95.47%), 41,324 votes against, 245 did not vote
- Shigeru Miyamoto: 965,332 votes in favour (98.32%), 12,059 votes against, 1,575 did not vote
- Shinya Takahashi: 965,552 votes in favour (98.34%), 11,834 votes against, 1,575 did note vote
- Ko Shiota: 965,559 votes in favour (98.34%), 11,827 votes against, 1,575 did note vote
- Satoru Shibata: 965,553 votes in favour (98.34%), 11,833 votes against, 1,575 did note vote
Interestingly, all five directors saw their approval rating increase year-on-year, with Furukawa's rating jumping the most up to 95.47% from last year's 92.04%.
The meeting also touched upon potential game delays due to COVID-19, a quick apology over Joy-Con drift, and the future of Nintendo Directs.
[source nintendo.co.jp, via perfectly-nintendo.com, gonintendo.com]
Glad to see Furukawa getting approval now. I feel like he didn’t get as warm a welcome as Iwata’s successor as Bowser did.
On a somewhat related note, I wish Nintendo would buy all of its own stock and go private.
Iwata’s last approval ratings:
Satoru Iwata: 83.45% (2015)
Genyo Takeda: 92.07%
Shigeru Miyamoto: 92.07%
Tatsumi Kimishima: 92.60%
No doubt had he lived to launch his NX (Switch), he’d have enjoyed similar high approval
A part of it was also Nintendo's resistance to venturing into the mobile market, as investors only see that it's the more lucrative digital entertainment platform and not the nuances of it.
Who would vote against Miyamoto?
@Noble_Haltmann While I sit in a seat of relative ignorance, I've yet to see anything from Furukawa that has particularly earned my approval, and the recent lack of company engagement with fans is a negative when held up against his predecessors.
Have to agree with the ratings, they have all done amazing this year.
Imagine being one of the 12,000 to vote against Miyamoto!
@gcunit I completely agree
Shinya Takahashi: (98.34%)
Ko Shiota: (98.34%)
Satoru Shibata: (98.34%)
Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.
@rockodoodle I don't know, but somewhere in the world is a room full of hedge fund managers mumbling about StarFox Zero and Paper Mario being "ruined."
@gcunit Completely agreed and then some. Though it's notable h is approval seems to be the lowest approval of the board. All high approval (as is expected while Nintendo is printing money again), but he has the least buy-in from investors of the group....
@rockodoodle what has Miyamoto done in, i dunno, the last half decade easily if not longer? It's not a popularity contest based on nostalgia.
@gcunit oh, please believe dude is simply reaping the benefits of the switch success and that's it. Nintendo the company is one rife with timely game development problems and draconian business practices.
Shareholders don't care how outspoken the CEO is - as long as the CEO is delivering financially, he/she will get high approval ratings.
@NEStalgia it's gotta be Sonic the hedge fund manager!
Really hope they bring back Directs, not a fan of the weird shadow dropping they did with Paper Mario. I’m sure the shareholders are very pleased with Nintendo’s shift towards MTX and mobile games over the last few years but they run the risk of losing the beating heart of what makes Nintendo great - charm and constant innovation.
@SpaceKaren What has Miyamoto done in the last decade? Blimey. Nurtured the next generation of Nintendo I would say. I'm sure his thinking is very much still inspirational. The man is an asset and a key component of taking Nintendo forward for when he retires.
Look at something like Manchester United when David Moyes took over. He got rid of the backroom staff (y'know, the foundations of what built the club up) and they have been crap ever since.*)
@GrailUK I suspect Nintendo downplays Miyamoto's involvement, largely at his own request, so they do not appear as dependent on him for success as they might really be. I imagine he's put a lot of input into some of the successes that we don't know about. His "Creative Fellow" position does, after all, mean he's the final stamp of approval on EVERY game, as it was the embodiment of that aspect of Iwata's job split into its own role.
And Nintendo's biggest new IP hit, Splatoon, was largely shaped by him rejecting the original ideas until they came up with the squid/kids concept, Squid Sisters, etc. Without his pushback, Splatoon would not be the Splatoon we know, even though it was not a project he directly was working on. And he was involved heavily, early on, in BotW as well, according to Aonuma's interviews around launch. Pretty much the only big hit he isn't, and has never been, a real part of is ACNH.
@nessisonett Thankfully they're shifting away from mobile and focusing on console again thanks to the success of ACNH (and, implied comparative failure of Pocket Camp.) That's one thing Furukawa has said that I can applaud.
@WaitroseDad64 I see a whole line of Sega licensed toys suddenly. Ohh the merchandising potential!!
@gcunit that’s true, he really hasn’t done anything remarkable and won’t leave nearly as great of a footprint as Iwata did, but he has kept the company running during this all time high of theirs with the switch. It just makes me sad when I see people blame him for any of Nintendo’s shortcomings that likely would have happened anyway.
@nessisonett I wouldn't be too sure about that. Pokemon Go aside, Nintendo's mobile games haven't done as well as other games in the market, and in fact are losing ground in most cases.
Furukawa has only been CEO for ~2 years, after it was clear that the Switch was going to be a success. He was always going to have a high approval rating as long as Switch hardware and software sales are strong, which they are very.
The real test will come in 3-4 years with the transition from Switch to Switch 2, given that Nintendo struggled with the NDS to 3DS and failed spectacularly with the Wii to Wii U transition under Iwata's leadership. A strong launch title(s) like Breath of the Wild and crystal-clear messaging/marketing to differentiate the Switch 2 from its predecessor is absolutely necessary, and that's on Furukawa.
One should also pay attention to how Super Nintendo World and the Mario movie by Illumination are received.
I agree with the comments about the current CEO. From outside looking in, he hasn’t done much. It was Iwata that fostered the development of the NX and Kimishima who sold the idea to the public.
With online play in shambles, mobile games underperforming, and next gen consoles looming, Furukawa is riding on the shoulders of his predecessors and still has a lot to prove.
@Bret It’s almost as if Nintendo trying to copy the other major games companies doesn’t work! They tried it with the GameCube and it didn’t work either.
@GrailUK "Nurtured the next generation of Nintendo I would say. I'm sure his thinking is very much still inspirational. The man is an asset and a key component of taking Nintendo forward for when he retires."
The problem with these claims is that they are not quantifiable. One could argue they are even speculative in nature.
@NEStalgia while some of that may be true, to properly gauge what sort of impact his involvement truly had in those examples is anyone's guess outside of Nintendo itself.
So then, to my greater point, what has he does in the past half decade? Some early development influence on BOTW? Ok. Let's not kid ourselves and pretend BOTW is what it is as a game and to gaming culture because of Miyamoto. That would be disingenuous to the tens and tens of developers that spent countless hours, days, weeks and months on that thing.
Plain and simple, Miyamoto is riding on the coattails of previous successes. And honestly, rightfully so. But in relation to his recent approval rating from investors, it really doesn't make much sense.
Miyamoto's current position at Nintendo is "Creative fellow", where his job is to advise and supervise on projects from a creative standpoint. He is currently overseeing the development of the Mario movie from Illumination and presumably the Super Nintendo World theme park as well. In that sense, he is doing fine, though things could get ugly for him if the Mario movie and Super Nintendo World are poorly received whenever they are released.
Shinya Takahashi is the head of Nintendo EPD (Miyamoto's old job), which is where all Nintendo software development takes place.
@SpaceKaren Iwata's former job was a superman job. He was really directly in charge of all first party games, directly in charge of all hardware, and directly in charge of business. No one person ever should have been doing all that, for many reasons, but he was superman and did. His job was split into 3. "The Fellowship of the Ring Fit." The Creative Fellow, Technical Fellow, and the President. President handles business and business alone. A normal corporate executive. Technical fellow is/was Takeda. He retired, but remains an outside adviser. A.K.A. hardware overseer on a company president level. Miyamoto is "Creative Fellow" - software overseer on a company president level.
So his role is no longer developer, it's basically that he's the real executive producer of every Nintendo game, but company tradition dictates that the president is listed in the credits. What he does in that role currently isn't overly public. What do executive producers do? There's plenty of interviews with them out there from western studios.
He's also involved in the character/brand management roles, outside of development. As the character creator, this is sensible....same as having Walt Disney handle Mickey indefinitely. That includes the movies, parks, project aspects with Universal, etc.
He's got a pretty loaded schedule. It's just not the "I'm making a game" role we're used to seeing him in. It's a pure managerial and creative role. Basically he's the president without having to stare at spreadsheets and profit projections ....he just runs the entertainment stuff.
I'm not sure your point on BotW. Modern game development has hundreds to thousands of in-source and out-source staff involved in the project. The producers and directors and designers are still primarily responsible for the game being what it is. He started on BotW before his "Fellow" position when he was still full time designer and studio lead. He shaped a lot of the foundations of the game in the first third of its development, and Aonuma was often frustrated afterward by staff always asking about decisions "what would Miyamoto say?" - Direct and indirect, Miyamoto's influence is very strong in BotW. And it was explicitly designed using what he saw LoZ1 as a template. No he didn't make the game by himself, and nobody said he did. He's a designer and producer. He shaped the mold and approved how everyone else filled it in. He's still Aonuma's boss at the end of the day. Or rather, Takahashi's boss who is Aonuma's boss.
All the credit on a movie goes to the director. You never hear much about the producers. But ultimately it's the producer(s) that shapes what the director is doing and what the projects ultimate result is.
@NEStalgia Exactly. It's a shame quantifiable these days means you can't slap a dollar sign on it. He has proven to have a unique perspective on game design and manages to inject wholesome values effortlessly into gaming. I think he's certainly more valuable to the company in more ways than productivity.
Who are the monsters who own the 12,059 shares that vote against Miyamoto???
@GrailUK Yep! And on the flip side everyone wonders what happened to Sonic. And the answer is Yuji Naka was Sonic. Now he isn't. Sonic is what happens when the guy that knows by instinct what it's all about isn't there. He did chime in about the horrid movie appearance though....and then they fixed it.
All reinforcing how valuable Miyamoto's influence is on Nintendo as a whole!
@GrailUK *half decade
@NEStalgia well stated reply.
I still find it hard to believe Miyamoto was truly instrumental to the modern day open world game that became BOTW. I'm sure ideas were bounced off him and he gave his usual candid feedback and suggestions. But his last real heavy influence on a Zelda title came with the divisive decision to map sword fighting to motion-plus in skyward sword. Let's not even get into his dual screened approach to Star Fox Zero, a derivative of his tech demo from a few years prior.
I think his role nowadays of Creative Fellow is more so a title than anything else (not saying he isn't doing anything) and that a lot of his love and appreciation from others comes from a nostalgic standpoint.
What has Miyamoto got to do to get 100%? Walk on water? Cure cancer? Stop the world's poverty, disease and war?
@rockodoodle Investors who hold a grudge over Star Fox Zero?
@rockodoodle TTYD fans and Star Fox Zero hate... er, I mean people who didn't like SFZ
@rockodoodle a paper mario fan
@veeflames ahh beat me to it, yeah he needs to leave those franchises be
@SpaceKaren Aonuma stated directly back during the BotW release that Miyamoto was heavily involved, I.E. on the hands-on day to day with BotW moreso than many recent Zelda titles in the first part of development. It's not too big a stretch to see that involvement. A lot of the design of the game is a direct recall to the first LoZ in design, realized in full 3D. The focus on the overworld, and freedom of movement to most locations with a "do whatever without any guidance" feel. Although Miyamoto invented the classic ALttP formula originally, it was Aonuma who appears to have been religiously stuck to that format in every game since. In that regard, it's easy to see Miyamoto's influence taking it back to the drawing board and saying, lets scrap that and get back to the feel of Zelda 1, and building out that template but in a fully realized form without the NES limitations.
Aonuma's comments suggest he doesn't really have an internal feel for the "open world" mechanism. "I enjoyed discovering new towns in Skyrim which gave me the idea for the climbing mechanic" (paraphrased.) Huh? Miyamoto was doing open world before it was called open world. Zelda 1, Zelda 2 (RPG-ish, but still), Mario 64, etc. Given that, it really isn't out of character for him to have been a major contributor toward taking Zelda (back to) open world. That's how it began. As my avatar suggests, I was a big fan of the original game. BotW was definitely like the first game re-imagined the way we kind of pictured it when we played it. Ok, the shrines don't replace the dungeons, and hopefully BotW2 fixes that since it can recycle some overworld effort. But most importantly Zelda1 dungeons weren't really puzzle dungeons the way Ocarina onward - Aonuma dungeons - are. I like both formats of game, for what it's worth.
I know some people hate Skyward Sword but....it was the Wii....the motion controls were the whole point of the hardware, and the M+ was the final realization of what should have been in the box to begin with. 1:1 swordplay was promised at the Wii launch and took until SS to actually arrive. I don't think he was wrong at all with the 1:1 sword use. That was the full realization of what the Wii was supposed to be about. It makes porting the game harder, but that was truly the best use of the Wii in general. Making it "mandatory" I can understand some complaints....but it, literally, was the entire purpose of the motion controlled console from the start and they underused their own feature until then. The real problem was that the Wiimote didn't have the "motion plus" standard from the start. It was a cost issue, but that was a hardware team problem. SS is the game Wii deserved. Other than the motion though, the game is a very, very Aonuma game. Much stronger Aonuma influence than Miyamoto. In fact it's the most Aonuma game there is to date.....its low sales is probably why Miyamoto returned to more directly hand-hold a bit for the next game - BOTW. And the results are pretty revealing. (But that omits the hardware/sales issues that affected SS sales including total gamer abandonment of Wii by year 6.)
People assign too much fault to him with SF0 though. The board/investors tasked Iwata with finding a reason to sell the GamePad on the failing WiiU with no selling point for the Pad. Iwata tasked Miyamoto with making some reason to justify the pad. The result is that he shoehorned a game around making it a tech demo for hardware because the President made that imperative because the investors made that imperative. And then internal demands (and gearing up for Switch internally) made that impractical and the whole thing was shunted off to Platinum who then lost it in development hell. The same people that are billing people retail price for a free game via import fees they failed to cover.....yeah...they messed up.
Personally I don't dislike SF0. It's a unique arcade experience Starfox. It's actually fun to play. BUT it's awkward because it isn't Miyamoto's vision for the game. It's a game he was tasked to make it a tech demo for hardware at any cost, after the hardware already failed, because the investors demanded so, and he ultimately just outsourced the thing. As a result it plays like a Platinum game. Because it is a Platinum game. And (unpopular gaming opinion) Platinum games all play the same, for better or worse. It's forgettable because (very unpopular gaming opinion) most Platinum games are forgettable.
It's fair to blame him for Sticker Star though. Sure IS messed it up, but he started that ball rolling, and corporate decided Paper Mario isn't an RPG and M&L is. But hey, everyone swings and misses at times.
But while he remains hidden and is the "brand guy" never forget he's technically the actual executive producer of every single Nintendo published game today. Furukawa gets the line in the credits by tradition, but Furukawa has zero knowledge or involvement in game production and doesn't claim otherwise. It was a tradition that started with an accidental billing of Yamauchi as Executive Producer once, instead of as Company President, and the tradition lives. And under Iwata's tenure the credit was actually accurate, he really did do the role himself. Now Miyamoto does, but doesn't get the credits billing, usually just a "Special Thanks." But make no mistake, he's still the executive producer of everything from Animal Crossing to Pikmin to Metroid, quietly, internally. Nothing gets boxed that didn't get his sign-off first.
(The forum software makes long coments be split.)
@gcunit we're talking about investors. They only care about money and share prices and would be just as satisfied with a company like EA
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