Nintendo slashes employee bonuses

Mario factory cutting staff summer bonuses by about 20 percent as a result of annual loss posted earlier this year; executive pay cuts remain in effect.

Nintendo will hand out summer bonuses to its employees this year, but this additional compensation will be significantly lighter. Japanese business newspaper Nikkei reports today (via Reuters) that the Mario factory will slash employee bonuses by about 20 percent as a result of the company's financially tough times.

Nintendo's summer employee bonuses will be lighter than usual this year.

In April, Nintendo reported its first-ever annual loss after hardware and software sales dropped 36 percent year-on-year. The firm expects to return to profit in its next fiscal year driven by the release of the Wii U across the world and a number of key software releases.

Last summer, company president Satoru Iwata took a 50 percent pay cut, with the firm's board of directors each taking cuts of between 20 and 30 percent. This was done to show accountability for the company's weak performance, Iwata said.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

52 comments
ebonyflame
ebonyflame

Don't be the cow on the Wii U Nintendo. I have disposable income and generally buy new gaming systems that interest me. I have yet to see any games on the system aside from ZombieU that seem worth playing to me. I am all mario'd out. Unless he does something significantly different than try to save a princess with chronic kidnapping syndrome, what point is there to playing another Mario game? Here's an idea for a plot, Mario comes back to the planet/realm earth for the 1st time in 25 years and has an adventure here.

Halloll
Halloll

at least they're expected to return to profit in their next fiscal year and no one is losing their jobs. can't say the same about THQ or Sony

mpeg3s
mpeg3s

It''s Obama's fault!

nurnberg
nurnberg

If Activision had a difficult year, Bobby Kotick would probably lay-off 500 employees, give the remaining ones pay cuts, while giving himself a 50% pay increase for "managing a company during difficult times".

Mayleene
Mayleene

Too bad American executives don't take the high road.

franzito
franzito

Economic crisis? Or their games are not paying off like before?

AnakinSW
AnakinSW

It appears that the Wii U is going to be even that much more important to Nintendo's future than I first envisioned.  This, in my mind, is not a good thing.  I just don't see Nintendo having the crazy initial draw they did with the Wii.  I know too many family and friends who bought the Wii due to all the hype and quickly regretted it.  With that said, I truly hope they can do well as I really like them as a dev.

phudabulah
phudabulah

I'm not as huge a Nintendo fan as some of you, but I can admire any company where its board of directors and president take a pay cut *before* dishing one out to their employees.  At the company I work for we have it backwards, they give themselves bonuses and cut our pay.

G1Ga-B1T3
G1Ga-B1T3

All smart companies do exactly this. Especially if the execs are taking hits to pay, then no one can complain. Another reason I respect Nintendo as business first and a game company second.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Most companies that I know of in the Telecommunications market had to do the same thing this year. Its just because of tough economic times. Nothing really to do with it being Nintendo.

TimboII
TimboII

...I still find it unsettling to see Nintendo & Sony having so much financial trouble lately....

slayer1090
slayer1090

I know it has already been pointed out, but damn... I am impressed that the top dogs took a blow for once, instead of the lower leveled workers taking it, or even worse, being laid off.

 

Kudos to you Nintendo

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

Well....if Wii-U goes over like Wii did.....get ready for more of this. Their controller seems more like it will divide players than bring them closer together, griefing on a whole new scale brought to you by Wii-U. IDK, I miss NES and SNES........

CTBradums
CTBradums

Only in Japan will you see executives slashing their OWN pay by noticeable amounts for poor performance...

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

I think it's a good symbolic gesture to do this. Reality is that the amount of money they save is relatively insignificant. But it says to us that they're aware of the annual loss and says to the employees not to be complacent.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

If 20 percent is a huge part of your bonus, then dare I say you are still ok.  I doubt the bonus is their primary income and if it is, then it's your fault for taking a job that depends on it.  I do have to say I doubt this is going to greatly impact the employees greatly.  The nice thing to see is that it started at the top and worked it's way down. 

DbzJohno
DbzJohno

I think the WII U is going to put a major hurt on them. I hope for the best for them because I really like NIntendo:(

DigitalNoodle
DigitalNoodle

If this was any other company they would have just laid off a bunch of people.

redskinStu
redskinStu

The only people I hear talking about Wii U are the Gamespot writers.

Hicks233
Hicks233

Best of luck to them.

 

While I would like to see them release cross platform I can applaud their behaviour in this regard.

emperiox
emperiox

Nintendumb...I'ma keep saying it. STOP WITH THE EXCLUSIVES! You have many amazing IP's that Xbox360, PS3, and PC, and PSP players would LOVE to play. Port some over and I can guarantee that you'll make boatloads of $$.

thom_maytees
thom_maytees

Interesting while Nintendo's employees have cuts in their salaries and bonuses, Sony which recently lost money, decides to layoff employees.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

Say what you want about the Wii or the Nintendo lineup, executives taking that kind of paycut shows class. Why can't American companies in trouble do this?

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I'm impressed by the Executives sticking by their pay cuts. Nintendo is doing it's best to get the company in order. After the 3DS launch which didn't quite pan out. Nintendo knows that they cannot afford to mess up the Wii U launch. These are tough times, Unlike Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo have nothing to fall back on. So great that the Excutives and staff of Nintendo are being mindful of finacial health of Nintendo.

Shadow4020
Shadow4020

Wow, the Execs took a pay cut? That would never happen in America.

R2BDSi
R2BDSi

I still think Nintendo should get rid of New Super Mario Bros. 2 there really just tryin to get easy cash from there consumers, which in other words there pulling a call of duty stunt, only Nintendo fans would be in denial to say two Mario Bros. games in one year is not greedy on Nintendo's part. NSMB2 could be easily delayed.

BelaidKL
BelaidKL

Still missing an important piece to make this article sympathetic... how much they'll still get? For example, if this means there bonus has dropped significantly that their living costs are in slight trouble then I shall sympathise, if it means that they would have to take a private helicopter to national conferences then private jets... then I do not care

CyhortI82
CyhortI82

So, is Nintendo an evil corporation yet? Because if this article said "Activision" or "EA" instead of "nintendo" there'd already be at least three comments about how greedy and horrible they are. Can we finally just admit Nintendo isn't the shining golden light of gaming? 

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

 @mpeg3s I think it had a bit more to do with a earth quakes new research facility and slow early 3DS sales...

 

 

Mayleene
Mayleene

Uhhhhhh I don't think you've been keeping up with the numbers of the 3DS sales.  Please try again.

Agent-M
Agent-M

 @Mayleene Who says they don't?  I see them traveling in helicopters all the time.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

 @AnakinSW People have a short memory its why the Republicans were getting thrown  out of office only to quickly make a comeback... I the people that regret buying it have forgotten by now unless they were a gamer.

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

 @Rayzakk

 Thanks for demonstrating that you know nothing about how bonuses work in Japan.

redluigi11
redluigi11

 @Hicks233 it would be nice but sony woun't never let that happen but pc could happin 

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @emperiox Ya, releasing games on systems they don't own... thats brilliant. Its so ironic your calling them dumb lol.

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @CyhortI82 While its true Nintendo executives are giving up a lot of their money, all of the other current income for them comes from making bad gimmicky systems (Wii and 3DS) and re-releasing old IPs with little changes in them. I don't hate Nintendo (I loved Gamecube and DS, both had some amazing exclusives and really good control schemes) and I don't like pointing out their recent failures, but I won't deny them. Ya, they might not be evil like Activision and EA but at least those companies make one or two good games a year. Maybe even three if they're having a great year.

scorpyin
scorpyin

 @CyhortI82

 "with the firm's board of directors each taking cuts of between 20 and 30 percent."

 

Did you miss that bit??

Simsyas
Simsyas

 @CyhortI82 Nintendo has plenty of skeletons in their closet; the European price fixing in the 90s for example.

Mayleene
Mayleene

 @Agent-M HAHAHAHA that is toooo funny.  Yeah, it's them that are in the helicopters that are taking the high way and think we don't see them because they are so high up there.  LOL

 

Good on ya.....made me day!

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

What that most companies use some sort of bonus system as part of employee income rather than an additional incentive?  Thank you for demonstrating that you feel you are so much smarter than others, I still I don't care, as it's better than layoffs.  Despite your rudeness I don't think you are suggestings layoffs are better and they have still work at will as they are not under communism and are free to work elsewhere if they do not agree to the terms. 

colt_a
colt_a

 @vault-boy Holding exclusives on a console that has the worst game sales of any console.  That's brilliant too.  They make 0 from console sales, its all game sales.  They'd lose an extra 10% in royalities to Sony or Microsoft but gain 200-300% the sales they get now.

 

Nintendo is just clinging to former glory that they will never get again.  They need to drop from the console business and continue to make handhelds and be a third party developer for other consoles.  They save massive amounts of money on R&D not making gimmicy consoles and gain money in game sales.  Its a no brainer if pride wasn't in the way.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

 @Darth_Tyrranus Ok and your not dismissive of the issue.  Now how much better off are the people that suffered this for it?

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

 @Rayzakk

I'm not suggesting that layoffs are better, but it's ignorant to be so dismissive of this issue.  Most Japanese people do indeed depend on their bonuses as part of their primary income.  This isn't something you can avoid by choosing jobs shrewdly; it's a widespread practice in Japan.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

 @emperiox No, when SEGA went third party, Sonic started to lose good rep with gamers and critics alike, and this comes from someone who likes Sonic's games on both SEGA and non-SEGA systems. I would predict the same would happen with Nintendo's IPs should that happen.

emperiox
emperiox

 @colt_a +1. They don't even have to bring all their good franchises. Porting operation rainfall would do it...also Xenosaga + Fire Emblem. I'm not going to buy a Nintendo Wii because I've already got an Xbox360 + PS3. I like Nintendo, but they keep making failing business decisions...it will destroy them.

 

colt_a
colt_a

 @finaleve Nintendo can still publish their own games if they go exclusive for another console and keep their vision. However, they would then be profitable as well.

 

Yes, the hardware R&D would get shut down.  That sucks.  Puts some people out of jobs.  However, the other option is to cling to life until you finally go bankrupt.  Then they sell the IPs to EA or Activision who have classically come in onto sinking companies and then ruined their IPs.  Which do you think is worse?  Keep a good quality game with some company restructuring, and be profitable, or fight to the end and taint your legacy forever?

finaleve
finaleve

 @colt_a Yes, because Nintendo is the only console that does exclusives.  Let's remove any chance of being a success by removing a key selling point.  They would probably lose tons of money and have to fire staff because an entire division is lost, the very same division that creates the consoles, ideas, gadgets, etc.

 

By just popping out their big sellers, they would end up oversaturating  the market to make ends meet.  You think there are too many Mario games now, just imagine how many there would be in the future.

 

Then take into account how publishers work.  Why take a risk when they could make millions on making Metroid into a Call of Duty clone, turn Mario into a hardcore killing machine with a reboot,  and a whole number of changes that obviously do not really need to be made.

 

Evidence?  Just look at gaming now?  Everything is being catered to the majority whom want simple yet fun games.  Compare Skyrim to Oblivion or even Morrowind and you will notice the difference in how easy it is to create characters.  Compare Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2 (ME3 being the mmiddle man as it sort of has depth).  Imagine a Dark Souls sequel that lacked character depth and not challenging at all?

 

This is the kind of thing that I would hate to see.