In a new annual financial report, Nintendo has revealed just how much it pays out to some of the biggest names at the company.
Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa is listed in the report, along with company directors Shigeru Miyamoto and Shinya Takahashi, revealing the total amount of compensation each receive on a consolidated basis. Furukawa earns the most, as you might expect, but the numbers are actually a little surprising.
Here's how it all translates into USD, with thanks to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad for bringing this to our attention:
- Shuntaro Furukawa: $2.4m ($0.73m basic + $1.67m bonus)
- Shigeru Miyamoto: $1.8m ($0.67m basic + $1.13m bonus)
- Shinya Takahashi: $1.24m ($0.11m basic + $1.13m bonus)
A $2.4 million salary after bonuses might sound pretty wonderful - and obviously yes, we'd take that in a heartbeat - but when compared to other big names in gaming, it's not as high as it sounds.
On the other end of the scale, a report last year highlighted the fact that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and EA CEO Andrew Wilson both took home around $30 million, which works out at more than 300 times the average wage of their employees.
The morality of that ratio is a discussion for another day, but it highlights a stark difference between Nintendo's way of doing things and how other companies handle their staff. Of course, back in 2014, then Nintendo president Satoru Iwata famously took a 50% pay cut to support the company through a time of financial loss.
Nintendo has also revealed the average age, salary and more of its employees.
[source nintendo.co.jp, via twitter.com]
Funny how they can still pay them this much without any mass layoffs yet Activision can have the best financial records along with paying their CEO a ton more yet still feel the need to lay off at least 700 employees.
Top positions in a company naturally get the biggest cut, but it's nice to see that Nintendo's top staff have fair cuts when compared to the likes of Bobby Kotick in Activision.
It's all about the profits at the end of the day. I work in retail and the amount of cutbacks really is astounding. All for the sake of more cash.
You say the morality is up for discussion another day, yet methinks the day is today, and the place is in this comments section...
Nintendo is a 'small' company compared to most other gaming giants and AAA developers. They don't have to pay as many people = better wages. It's also earned by their quality of first party games.
Japanese execs overall earn less than US
"which works out at more than 300 times the average wage of their employees"
That's the important part to take note of.
Personally I have no issue with talented people earning big piles of cash, as long as they pay tax accordingly. If there wasn’t the monetary reward for doing a good and climbing the ladder, why would anyone bother?
I would guess everyone who works at Nintendo does so primarily for the love of the company and the creative freedom it enables them.
Undoubtedly Miyamoto could earn way more working for Tencent or Activision or Microsoft, but you question if they would actually listen to him and if Shigsy would be happy creating the same game again and again with Microtransansactions and trusted formulas. Same goes for all the big Ninty names.
I’m sure this isn’t including stock options and what not. Either way I’m not surprised to see fiscal prudence at Nintendo. They’ve been here for hundreds of years and will be here for hundreds more. No one else in the industry can say that.
@impurekind Well, now we know what the ending of WarioWare was inspired by.
Revenue for Nintendo was about $10bn last year. Activision was about $6bn and Activision pays their top executive over 10x the wage of Nintendo's.
Activision has still had to make lay offs and Nintendo doesn't. I wonder why...
@jsw-8 Nintendo has one of their weekest years - Satoru Iwata voluntarily takes a big pay cut to keep it's employees.
Activision does slightly worst than previous year - Bobby Kotick gets a pay increase & lets thousands of staff go.
Japan does things differently to America and Bobby Kotick is a piece of crap who doesn't care about the human side of business...and yet the World takes Satoru from us and Bobby keeps breathing...
Miyamoto sure rised the salary rank since the game design days.
@LavaTwilight the comments section in Nintendolife is not historically a place of balance, consideration and respectful discourse, but we’ll see what develops, I suppose.
Atleast we can feel good about liking nintendo and how they handle their staff.
No overpaid ceo's.
Can Also look at sakurai who bought tons of equipment for ssbu dlc team in these times.
Can probs see the same thing happen within nintendo.
Sure it can be deducted as had returns and they would pay significantly less than normal consumers.
But it still speaks of how they want to provide the best enviroment for their employees.
That’s fine if all they do is recruit internally. But they never going to poach staff from other organisations with salaries like that.
“The morality of that ratio is a discussion for another day“
I strongly disagree this should be a discussing everyday, until actual pay ratio caps become laws!
@RickD yeah I read an article that they have enough funds through various investment to loose profit for 20 years. This was when the WiiU was in decline. This is also why they are happy to experiment because when they do and get a win it's usually highly profitable
@impurekind I am sure they work 100 times as hard and 3 times as many hours though to justify it.
@Enigk Must be true.
Nintendo do not want to participate in the budget race and do not believe the quality of a game is correlated to its budget. Nintendo is the only big videogame company in the world who has game designers in its administrative board and in directing position. Nintendo consider making a videogame is like playing a game. Sometimes you win and sometimes you loose but the most important is to let developers express themselves instead of following a straight commercial formula decided by business suits.
For gods sake. Just name the thief, scammer of the workforce and destroyer of the industry. His name is Robert Kotick.
I am sure they actually do more work for Nintendo than the other executives do for their respective companies.
Now we know why Reggie quit.
I wonder why the respective staff “churn” is like between EA and Nintendo? That’s a good signifier for how a company treats its staff.
After all, if you’re in a midlife/senior position at any of the global software companies, I’d presume you can pretty much walk into any job in the industry. So staff loyalty can be either bought with big salaries and other perks or just be a cool place to work. Hopefully both
To be honest, Shigsy is more valuable than the best professional footballers. He should be on $10million+
These three people have all been employed by Nintendo since their early 20s, as in-the-fray developers, and have worked their way up.
Bobby Kotick got to be the boss because he bought a large share in Activision. Andrew Wilson did start work as a business developer for EA at 26, though also being on the board of directors at Intel means you have to pay him well not to lose him.
It's different for reasons other than just company culture, is what I'm trying to say.
@LavaTwilight Damn right.
I think this is less a statement on Nintendo individually and more typical of Japanese companies in general. Most Japanese companies — even the massive multinationals — have a relatively flat pay curve; few if any Japanese executives make the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars per year you see in US companies.
@Abes3 Ok doing a quick search, Nintendo has between 5 thousand to 6 thousand employees. Activision has 10,000 employees. That's only twice as big as Nintendo yet Kotick makes 10 times as much as Furukawa. Imagine how much of that 30 mil could go to employees if kotick would just take 3 mil. It doesn't matter about the size of the company.
@LavaTwilight Totally agree. I see a lot of people saying that "the culture is different" and I'm like.. that's not a good excuse? We have to stop excusing the way Americans do things because it is unarguably bad for the masses.
@Mince Why? The media and certain politicians whine non-stop about CEO pay, yet nobody seems to mind movie stars and sportsball players earning tons of money. Should the ratio between the quarterback and the guy that mans the concession stand also be mandated by the government, or should the owners of the assets decide how they are to be allocated (and the consumers decide what kind of companies they want to support with their money)? It's fine for someone to be paid seven, eight, or even nine figures to bounce a ball or play dress-up, but it's not okay for a smart person talented enough to run a successful and profitable company to make that kind of money.
I see tons of Activision hate here. You want ton send them a message? stop buying their games!
@Euler Oh, I agree. Actors and sports stars should be paid in sand considering how many would line up to take their place. By all means, lump them in with the overpaid CEOs. And while you're at it, ban public funds being put into building stadiums.
@Euler I do not know how it is in your country,
but here in germany the massive pay of sports stars is a never ending debate even among fans. Ask 100 people and 99 will tell you that they are massively overpayed and that things should change in that department.
So from my persective, I don't know what you are talking about.
@Euler making to many assumptions for me to take your comment seriously.
At no point have I mentioned CEO you have created that limit yourself.
Its also my opinion, if you don't like it jog on and shut the f*** up!
@Kirgo The guys just creating limits to my comment, i never even mentioned CEO!
Its likely the ramblings of a ill informed man, especially regarding his understanding on public opinion over sports pay!
@Mince The "pay ratio" statistic refers to CEO:median employee. That's how the term is commonly understood.
@judaspete Fully agree on publicly subsidized stadiums anyway. Study after study show that the economic benefits to the public aren't sufficient to justify investing taxpayer funds. Corporate welfare.
@Euler all I said was ‘pay ration caps should become law’
You chose for it not to include anyone but CEOs, so to clarify I think pay ratio caps should occur across the board.
I feel sorry for people who live in the us, even if they don't buy their games, they still pay them with their tax dollars.
Japan has some of the absurd pay for executives you see in other countries but it's not nearly as bad as must US companies. Japan's "social shame" system generally means that heads of companies actually get hit hard when their companies perform poorly.
Unlike America where they can lay off hundreds or thousands of hard working good people, and still pay the executives multi-million dollar bonuses on top of their wages.
And don't forget Iwata took a mammoth pay cut in 2012 after the Wii U was deemed an utter failure. That's saying something about Japan right there!
I don’t think Miyamoto feels undervalued. There comes a point where you’re so wealthy that it really shouldn’t matter if someone else is even wealthier.
Unfortunately it does matter to a lot of people and that’s what keeps folk hungry and unsatisfied.
@kooznim yeah it's pretty bad that they can't sacrifice to keep employees. What do you even do with that much money !?
@Nurfhurder It's been at least a decade since I bought an Activision game, so I can't do any more on that front. A lot of us can't harm them any more with our wallets, so all we've got is our mouths.
i'm suprised that Shigeru Miyamoto salary is quite low considering it importance to Nintendo and compared to other executive in the industry, maybe Nintendo spent most of the money they earn for Switch sales and it games for the development of it games and Services.
@arabiansanchez I'm inclined to agree. Give me a million dollars and I can probably stretch that for the rest of my life without working a day rather easily. However, give me a million dollars per year for the rest of my career and that money will get quickly invested into youth programs, charities, and other causes and I'd still be quite comfortable.
The world we live in where you have two people living in a house that can room twenty and have a new car to drive every day and it's quite sickening. Does a CEO really need to pocket 30 Million a year? How would it even be possible to spend that much within your life let alone within a year? Sports stars cashing in millions of dollars and still demanding more. We can go on and on. Don't get me wrong I love professional sports, but I plan to raise my kids where if any of them make it to save that money and give back. Because if millionaires actually put their money where their mouth is a lot of the world's problems could get solved very quickly.
Miyamoto should make all the money in the world.
@BreathingMiit well at the very least youve put your mouth where your money was lol
@Ryall At least not those who are in it for the money.
Worth remembering that a sensible and long-term view with payment strategies is exactly how Nintendo managed to ride out the "Doomed" period of the last 15 years.
If they paid top execs 20x more then they would have "done a SEGA" and we would have no Nintendo Switch.
So glad Nintendo take the approach that they do.
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