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Nintendo Not Interested In Lay-Offs To Improve Profits


At Nintendo’s 73rd annual general meeting of shareholders, one individual in attendance asked why the company hasn’t carried out corporate restructuring and conducted lay-offs in order to help offset their recent financial woes.


Nintendo president Satoru Iwata fielded the question, replying that Nintendo aren’t interested in reducing their employee headcount, and would prefer to strengthen their business in other ways.


“Regarding why we have not reduced the number of the personnel, it is true that our business has its ups and downs every few years, and of course, our ideal situation is to make a profit even in the low periods, return these profits to investors and maintain a high share price,” Iwata said. “I believe we should continue working toward this ideal.”


However, he continued, “If we reduce the number of employees for better short-term financial results, however, employee morale will decrease, and I sincerely doubt employees who fear that they may be laid off will be able to develop software titles that could impress people around the world. I believe we can become profitable with the current business structure in consideration of exchange rate trends and popularization of our platforms in the future.”


Nintendo aren’t against cutting unnecessary cost and running their business operations more efficiently, but this plan doesn’t involve letting a number of employees go, or publicizing the company’s restructuring plans.


“I also know that some employers publicize their restructuring plan to improve their financial performance by letting a number of their employees go,” Iwata explained, “but at Nintendo, employees make valuable contributions in their respective fields, so I believe that laying off a group of employees will not help to strengthen Nintendo’s business in the long run.”


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.