Nintendo Expediting Operations By Cooperating With Other Companies



During Nintendo’s financial results briefing Q&A for the company’s third quarter earlier in the year, president Satoru Iwata stated that it was important to distinguish between initiatives that would need to be worked on internally versus those that could be outsourced or collaborated upon with outside firms in order to improve efficiency and support in the form of products and services.


This was further evidenced in a report in Japanese tabloid Nikkei, which revealed that, at one point, Nintendo’s teams were having trouble coping with the company’s sudden growth due to understaffed management, among other issues. This topic was recently revisited in Nintendo’s financial results Q&A for the fiscal year gone by.


Addressing a question regarding outside collaboration in order to speed up operations, Iwata provided some insight into his thoughts on the matter:


“When I spoke in January, I said that we should not think that we have to do everything with only internal resources and that I’d like to realize more speedy operations by smartly cooperating with people outside the company. My thought has not changed at all, and it is true that we are starting to share such an idea with various people, but I cannot share any concrete example here today because such a talk always involve someone outside the company and because we should publicly confirm any such alliance only after the necessary preparations are done.


Hopefully, we will be able to share with you some ideas in a year or two, when you will be able to understand that it is something I was referring to today. We are making some progresses as time goes by.”


It’s important to note that “a year or two” would imply that these collaborations are of long-term significance rather than short-term initiatives such as externally-developed games being released in the near future.


Regardless, steps toward greater collaboration with external developers in the short term, too, are being taken, as indicated by Nintendo’s early 3DS announcement, which was made in order to facilitate a strong third-party software debut for the device at E3. The Netflix initiative on Wii could be considered another such example as well.


Netflix on Wii image sourced from CNET.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.