With ever-dwindling third-party support and the feeble offerings of another Mario Tennis game and that Animal Crossing-Amiibo title, which came from this year’s seriously overhyped digital event at E3; it’s safe to say that it’s not exactly been the best year for Nintendo. In particular, the passing of company president and gaming legend, Satoru Iwata, was seen to hit the ‘Big N’ hard, and people have been speculating that it may well be time for Nintendo to throw in the towel.
No. Far from it. In fact, following the news that Tatsumi Kimishima, former President of Nintendo of America (2002-2006), is going to be the next Chief Executive Officer of Nintendo, the company’s future is looking brighter than ever. Kimishima, who was quoted as “watching and learning from Mr. Iwata for some time” prior to his untimely death, is set to implement the carefully planned steps put in place by his predecessor in the run up to the launch of Project NX, Nintendo’s next console.
For those Nintendo fans out there hoping that industry pioneer, Shigeru Miyamoto, would take up the mantle, I’d point out that Nintendo is ultimately a business. Yes, a maker of video games, but a business first and foremost. A business with an estimated value of £14.25 billion and some of the most recognisable intellectual properties in the history of popular culture. Mr. Miyamoto may know a thing or two about game design, but a businessman he is not. Kimishima though, who’s previously worked as Chief Financial Officer of the Pokémon Company (2000-2001), certainly has sufficient experience to lead Nintendo through the transitional period in which it finds itself.
Under Kimishima, the launch of Project NX, which we hope to hear a lot more about in 2016, appears to be extremely promising. In hindsight, the bewildering choices made by Nintendo with regards to the launch of the Wii U are obvious. But not many people in 2012 could have predicted that it would have only just sold 10 million units after having been on the market for 32 months. For comparison, the PS4 managed to reach that figure in just nine months.
Tatsumi Kimishima was among the few that predicted the less than stellar sales, over fears that the console was too similar to the original Wii. The fact then, that Kimishima has not yet had any such doubts over the NX, is reassuring to say the least. There’s also hope of a wide-ranging launch line up with rumours of Dragon Quest XI and the recently announced Pikmin 4 being launch titles for the system.
The new president will also be steering Nintendo into several new and exciting industries. Through its partnership with DeNA, the company will be bringing its games to mobile devices later this year and due to a deal with Universal, Nintendo will be bringing its franchises to Universal theme parks sometime over the next few years.
So although things may seem bleak right now for Nintendo, there’s a light at the end of the warp-pipe and Mr. Kimishima is a safe choice as Iwata’s successor to lead the way. Good luck to him and good luck Nintendo.