No Plans To Reduce Workforce Says Nintendo’s Iwata

By Ishaan . November 5, 2013 . 1:19pm

Over the last few years, Nintendo’s workforce has increased from around 4,000 employees to around 5,000, and R&D expenses of late have been high as well. At the same time, however, Nintendo haven’t been hitting their intended profit margins, with Wii U sales alarmingly low and Nintendo 3DS sales lower than they would like in the west.


In light of these facts, an attendee at a Q&A for Nintendo’s second fiscal quarter asked if the company has any plans to reduce its workforce or take other similar cost-cutting measures. However, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata replied that the company has no such plans to reduce its workforce in the foreseeable future.


“If you believe that there is no possibility of Nintendo’s results improving, then you would be right about it being necessary to review the structure of the workforce and the company itself to match the scale of the business,” Iwata replied.


“However, I believe that there are upward and downward swings in the video game business, that Nintendo has the potential to be a larger-scale business, and that in order to achieve that potential, good developers, localization capability and the ability to sell overseas are necessary. We need a company with a lot of muscle, but a company that also has no excess fat—one that makes smart spending decisions.”


Iwata concluded, “Restructuring the workforce is not the first option we consider even when cost cutting is required. I would like you to understand that this is because we do not see a dark future for Nintendo.”

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Symbol de Au

    He’s said this before actually. It seems people like to ask the same questions…but at least this proves he’s consistent.

  • SetzerGabbiani

    I’m sure it is the shareholders who keep asking him to do this to (artificially) raise the stock price. I love that he is standing his ground. Employee confidence is what keeps the quality of Nintendo’s games high…I firmly believe that.

  • ronin4life

    Pretty much the only company not cutting their work force, and actually growing their business to boot in the industry.

    It amazes me how anyone could think they should quit, or that gaming would be better for it. They are the only company MAKING MONEY and growing the industry while maintaining high quality.

    • mirumu

      They did actually make a loss in the last quarter, but I respect their stance here. If I was going to have any complaint about Nintendo it would be how they occasionally seem to suffer from Not Invented Here Syndrome. Learning from the mistakes or successes of other companies is not a bad thing. But yeah, more power to them. I really hope they can pull of their plans and it’s good to see they have real confidence in them.

      • Magnumsally

        They made profit last quarter. Not loss.

        • mirumu

          Maybe you’re thinking of the quarter before that? They made a ¥18.4 billion ($187 million) loss last quarter.

          Edit: Actually my bad, they made a loss the previous quarter too.

          • Magnumsally

            They had operational losses. But they made a net profit of 6 mil last quarter. That includes those loses.

          • mirumu

            Not wrong, they measure different things, but yes, I wasn’t aware they’d run a net profit as I hadn’t seen it reported anywhere. You’ll get no disagreement from me that’s bad reporting.

            So they covered those operational losses with some one off gains then? Do we know what that was due to?

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Yeah that really annoyed me

          • Magnumsally

            investments, 3ds, ect

  • J_Joestar

    Reminds me of the story about the Japan Airlines CEO.
    I wonder if Iwata takes the bus to work?

  • James Enk

    “…we do not see a dark future for Nintendo” that’s the point of this statement, it’s an answer to the whole Nintendo is failing idea that was planted in some ppls heads

  • Minos

    I actually think they need more people.

    Some western studios wouldn’t hurt.

  • Magnumsally

    Why is this site doing this again?

    haven’t been hitting their intended profit margins, with Wii U sales
    alarmingly low and Nintendo 3DS sales lower than they would like in the

    Have they been hitting there profit margins? no, but they are the only one out of the big 3 to have profit lately.

    With regards to 3DS, Reggie has said 3ds sales are fantastic on the west. Considering its the number 1 system I dont like how this site says they are lower than they would like when that information is outdated by 2 years.

    This is a smart move by Nintendo and any game company in these hard times. You want to increase moral, not decrease.

    The wii u isnt “alarming low” not even by a long shot. People go through this every single first year.

  • Iwata, I respect, appreciate and love you a great deal.

    It’s also refreshing to see what Iwata has to say and the decisions they make.

  • PreyMantis

    With Pokémon X&Y, Animal Crossing NL, Mario Kart 7, etc. selling like hot cakes, they’re the least company for people to be thinking of coming down, but alas…

  • Fox

    I thought Nintendo’s whole problem was that their workforce was grossly insufficient for the demands of HD game development. Though why it requires more people to code a game to display at a higher resolution, I’ll never know.

    Or, wait–does Nintendo refuse to use middleware?

    • 60hz

      grossly insufficient? where’d you get that from? middleware? what does that have to do with anything, especially when you have the level of talent nintendo has, and middleware is not the silver bullet you make it out to be – tons of companies have folded that use middleware, plus how do you know if they REFUSE to use it or not???

      Why does HD cost more? Because it’s MORE STUFF, at HIGHER DETAIL, which means MORE MAN HOURS to make. Art budget is the biggest expansion but at the same time the affects tech budgets especially tool development and IT support to manage all that data…

    • Aaronrules380

      I’m pretty sure the reason there were so many delays was that they had shifted staff from wii u projects to 3DS ones after the Japanese earthquake affected the 3ds sales a ton. I think a lot of people forget that en at the start in Japan the 3DS did really well until the earthquake happened, which is something nobody really could foresee. Tey underestimated the work an hd game would take, but that wouldn’t have made a huge difference if they hadn’t needed to shift staff around. Nintendo has a lot of studios and can handle HD games, but many of the studios are developing more than one game at a time, often for multiple systems. Nintendo releases more games a year than most companies, and most of them are really high quality.

    • TheAquacharger

      Nintendo doesn’t use middleware.

  • Yan Zhao

    Respect Nintendo for things like these. I dont see how people can keep hating on the big N.

  • Lucas

    Come on Nintendo we want to see more Wii U Exclusives just like:
    New EarthBound(the best way is a prequel of MOTHER 1/EarthBound Zero),New Star Fox,New Metroid,New F-ZERO,New Banjo Kazooie,Donkey Kong,Clock Tower: First Fear(Havok involved 3D only),Fire Emblem,Kid Icarus: Uprising(Wii U Edition),New Zelda,Majora’s Mask HD,New Ice Climbers,New Crash Bandicoot,New Spyro(not Activision’s Skylanders series),New Kirby,MOTHER/EarthBound HD Trilogy(no need to re-release MOTHER 1/EarthBound NES game & MOTHER 3 GBA game on EU/USA/JP on Wii U & 2DS).Please,Nintendo,pppppppppplllllllllleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaassee??!!

  • Lucas

    I also know that Sega had an idea to develop new Fox McCould Adventures on Wii U.Before that Shigeru Miyamoto said “Next Star Fox installments depends on handheld consoles”

  • Lucas

    Nintendo you also completely forgot about your one of your canceled games called Super Mario 64 2.

  • Lucas

    Please Nintendo & Hal Laboratory also put Kirby TV Channel(all Hoshi no Kaabi/Kirby Right Back at Ya episodes and all Kirby 3D Cartoon Series available on EU/USA/JP on Wii U & 2DS),please?!

  • Lucas

    I also forgot about New Pokémon games on 2DS and Wii U on EU/USA/JP)

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos