Nintendo held their 76th annual general meeting of shareholders today, where the company shared the latest information, from their upcoming NX console to software sales. [Thanks, Nintendo Everything.]
Here are some of the highlights from the meeting:
- There were no big 3DS hit titles, so sales were low
- Splatoon, Mario Maker, Twilight Princess HD did well
- amiibo hit 24.7 million units
- Download sales totaled 43.9 billion yen
- Miitomo got off to a good start
- Operating income recovered, but losses due to the strong yen reduced ordinary and net income
- Pokemon Sun/Moon 3DS due out worldwide in November, with many other Nintendo, strong 3rd-party titles to be released
- The aim with 3DS is to make the platform active again
- NX reconfirmed for worldwide launch in March 2017; the dedicated game machine business will continue to be core
- amiibo and download businesses will continue to receive focus
- Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing come to smart devices this fall
- Focusing on My Nintendo, we want to create synergy between the dedicated game machine and smart device businesses
- Nintendo IP will be used in theme parks, character goods, and film contents
- Nintendo said the Wii U would continue to fight on, but only Zelda is coming next year
Here are some highlights from the Q&A session:
Q1. I’ve held shares for 20 years. I want to protest the board of directors being all-male. Remember half of the market is female. Also, I don’t use a PC, and I’d like the opinions of those kinds of shareholders to be taken into account.
A1. Kimishima: We don’t have any females [on the board]. For foreigners, Reggie is an operating officer. There are many female employees, and their opinions are applied in product development. It’s important that we continue taking their opinions in dev.
Q2. Looking at the balance sheet, I think this is a very good company, but the stock price is low and needs to be increased. For example, focusing on VR, developing software for elders to exercise and prevent dementia, and other various types of efforts. I would also like a young director to be appointed.
A2. Kimishima: Other companies’ VR presentations at E3 became a topic of discussion. It has captured customers’ interest, and while we’re researching it, we don’t have anything concrete to discuss now. To increase the stock price, we’re utilizing our IP, researching QOL, preparing the NX, and taking on many such challenges.
Q3. It’s been reported that Great Britain is leaving the EU. Does this affect Nintendo, and if so, what are you doing about it?
Kimishima: Financial markets are in turmoil. For now, the yen is strengthening, causing our foreign assets to fall. We have Nintendo UK, and safety standards and personal information regulations from the EU may change under the UK. We’re watching the situation and making preparations.
Q11: About NX manufacturing, I hear that labor costs in China are rising and that robotic assembly is increasing. While going to fabless contract manufacturing, I want to know how you will keep costs down going forward.
Hirokazu Shinshi: I’m in charge of manufacturing. Labor costs have shot up in the last 10 years in China and across ASEAN nations. Manufacturing automation has long been practiced in Japan, and is now done in China. While making the same product for a long time, the amount manufactured changes based on things like the Christmas season. It’s easy to automate unchanging production amounts, but it’s difficult when they do change. We’re thoroughly communicating with our partners to make adjustments. As for the NX, manufacturing is being prepped. We’re considering how much to automate.
Q15. I believe that the game industry’s biggest problems are increasing development costs and the length of development. I’d like to hear from each director what their approach to this is.
Kimishima: Certainly, development costs have increased in the last 10 years. Let’s have each director answer.
Takeda: We’re using increases in productivity to make an appeal with the greatness of games instead of [hardware] performance.
Miyamoto: Breath of the Wild has over 100 staff, and over 300 people in the credits, spending over 5 years. Our current efforts will be helpful in the next production. The costs will be recovered by selling in large volumes, passing 2m sales. A game is a hit in the domestic market if it reaches 300k sales, but we’re targeting worldwide sales. Reviews on the Internet get around. Details get pointed out, so our staff is working more than is required.
Shinya Takahashi: By using resources made for Zelda on other software, we can make many compact titles. The last Brain Training sold a lot with small resources. We’re doing lots of things to reduce development times like reusing game engines.
You can read the full report over at Nintendo Everything.