Has Iwata Secretly Been Canned?

#1 Posted by IMAHAPYHIPPO (2604 posts) -

This post starts with me saying this is an exaggerated speculation. As the man in question is so famous for these days -- Please understand.

But here we are in a week where two separate Directs have been released from Nintendo -- Smash Bros. and Tomodachi Life -- both of which were hosted by a member of Nintendo not named Saturo Iwata. Granted, we can chalk the Smash Bros. Direct up to the fact that Sakuri is the lead developer of the series, so naturally a 40 minute presentation specifically focused on his game would be led by him.

But this hasn't been the case before. Game showcases in Nintendo Directs have mostly had Iwata at the helm, with other Nintendo figures taking on a supporting role.

Then, we get to Tomodachi Life -- a game that I believe is exclusive to Japan -- and the man in front of the camera is American Bill Trenen (sp, I'm sure). Iwata's Mii showed up several times throughout the presentation, but the fact remains is we've heard very little from Mr. Iwata since the last full-fledged Nintendo Direct.

Is this fact telling of Nintendo's future? Has Iwata already been let go, and they're keeping it a secret so not to cause stocks to fall from nervous investors? Are they slowly shifting him out of his top position and trying out new faces? Or is this a whole lot of nothing, as is typically the case with all speculative discussions?

#2 Posted by superbuuman (2903 posts) -

Depends who does the E3 Nintendo Direct...Iwata or someone else..if someone else then maybe. :P

#3 Posted by 4myAmuzumament (1750 posts) -

He'll probably show up again at E3. If not, I hope Cammie makes a return.

#4 Posted by IMAHAPYHIPPO (2604 posts) -

@4myAmuzumament said:

He'll probably show up again at E3. If not, I hope Cammie makes a return.

I actually shuttered when I thought about e3 2008.

#5 Posted by outworld222 (2429 posts) -

Reggie should replace him.

#6 Posted by tocool340 (20548 posts) -
@outworld222 said:

Reggie should replace him.

I second this motion!...

#7 Edited by IMAHAPYHIPPO (2604 posts) -

@tocool340 said:
@outworld222 said:

Reggie should replace him.

I second this motion!...

I don't think Reggie should take over as head of Nintendo, but based on the mindset this is coming from, I agree. Nintendo has always had a blind spot to markets outside of Japan, which is... well, quite a large portion of the world, and what Nintendo needs is not one man in charge of everything, but one man in charge of every market.

It's been heavily suggested -- though not outright stated -- that members of Nintendo outside of the Kyoto offices have very little influence on Nintendo's actions, and it's finally catching up to them in a very troubling way. I love my Wii U, but over a year in, it's very clear that this not the kind of console the standard gamer wants. I've been reading a lot more optimism on these boards recently, mainly because of Nintendo's recent releases, but this company -- the company that brings news "directly to you" -- needs to spend more time asking its consumers directly what they want.

I'm going to state it again -- and a million times over -- I love Nintendo, and I love my Wii U, but adjustments certainly need to be made. With the outlets available for constant bitching and dissatisfaction, the age of businesses succeeding despite consumer disappointment no longer exists. People are more demanding now more than ever, mainly because they have outlets to voice that. And Nintendo needs influential ears in every market, so that they can adhere to consumer desires.

#8 Posted by outworld222 (2429 posts) -

@IMAHAPYHIPPO: You're absolutely right. I have a 3DS right now and I feel the same way about it as you feel about the WII U, actually I wish I felt the same way about the WiiU, I just love the small screen so there you have it.

Moving on....there is so many other older IPs that can be brought up or resurrected. Remember we are in the early ages of video gaming. So there are a lot more IPs in the future that could come up and hopefully be successful. And only Nintendo can do it the way they do, keeping it fun for the gamers. You know, I wish the GameCube didn't get all the hate it did, but at any rate people hate change and I can certainly understand that.

I guess I'm still in love with the 90s when I was a teen, but times change, move on, etc. I still agree with the direction that Iwata is going with Nintendo, and to put it frankly, I kinda feel sorry for him. As you stated, this isn't a one man show. But Iwata (whether you think he did or not) is responsible for showing leadership so that others are confident. I feel like he has delivered that leadership in many ways.

#9 Posted by IMAHAPYHIPPO (2604 posts) -

@outworld222: I think Iwata has made quite a few great business moves as well as quite a few confounding ones. As far as the Gamecube is concerned, I'm not sure where you're seeing all this negativity towards it. I'm not terribly well-versed in the entirety of the gaming world, as far the internet is concerned, but I've very rarely read negative things about the Gamecube, as of late. What I've seen, the general consensus is that it was somewhat of a hidden gem for its time, packed with a library of outstanding titles.

I wouldn't say I feel bad for Iwata, but I understand the logic that goes behind that saying that. Obviously, Nintendo is not solely run by one person -- from what I understand, the developers have almost all the power -- but I think the reason he's getting so much flak is because of that fact. Developers at Nintendo come to the people in charge and say, "this is what we want to create with," and the upper-management is known to providing them with that kind of hardware.

I try not to say this often -- as it can sound braggy -- but I'm a writer in Hollywood, and I spend a lot of time around creative types. Spending time around people like that has taught me something very important -- we suck at making business decisions. It's important to have people in charge who understand finance, consumer trends, and all that voodoo that creative people don't have the ability to understand. We need those people so our industry can stay in business. It doesn't seem like Nintendo operates that way. As far as the quality of their games is concerned, they benefit from this greatly, but it's doing them a disservice in the end when there's a console that's been out for over a year that was outsold in three months, and this will impact their ability to create games in the future.

It's very hard to invest millions upon millions of dollars in something when you know your potential audience is only going to reach a million units max, as opposed to 5,10,15, etc... Mario Kart Wii sold something like 30 million copies. It won't do that on the Wii U simply because of how many people have the console in their homes.

#10 Edited by tocool340 (20548 posts) -
@IMAHAPYHIPPO said:

@tocool340 said:
@outworld222 said:

Reggie should replace him.

I second this motion!...

I don't think Reggie should take over as head of Nintendo, but based on the mindset this is coming from, I agree. Nintendo has always had a blind spot to markets outside of Japan, which is... well, quite a large portion of the world, and what Nintendo needs is not one man in charge of everything, but one man in charge of every market.

It's been heavily suggested -- though not outright stated -- that members of Nintendo outside of the Kyoto offices have very little influence on Nintendo's actions, and it's finally catching up to them in a very troubling way. I love my Wii U, but over a year in, it's very clear that this not the kind of console the standard gamer wants. I've been reading a lot more optimism on these boards recently, mainly because of Nintendo's recent releases, but this company -- the company that brings news "directly to you" -- needs to spend more time asking its consumers directly what they want.

I'm going to state it again -- and a million times over -- I love Nintendo, and I love my Wii U, but adjustments certainly need to be made. With the outlets available for constant bitching and dissatisfaction, the age of businesses succeeding despite consumer disappointment no longer exists. People are more demanding now more than ever, mainly because they have outlets to voice that. And Nintendo needs influential ears in every market, so that they can adhere to consumer desires.

My reasons for wanting Reggie to take charge are reasons you just mentioned. He seems like an aggressor, something Nintendo is highly in need of right now AND he's familiar with the western market, another plus. I highly doubt Nintendo will stray too far from its Japanese heritage by having Reggie take helm and I think they could benefit greatly under his leadership. But...with that said, even if Reggie takes charge, it will take a lot of time for Nintendo to recover from its current predicament....

I want Nintendo to return back to its former self, before Iwata slowly pushed it off course. I feel Reggie is the man who can do that...

#11 Posted by IMAHAPYHIPPO (2604 posts) -

@tocool340: I think Nintendo should have somebody in charge in every region they sell their products in. And I think each one of those regions should have an influential say on how their products are made. If you read between the lines of all of Reggie's corporate babble, it seems he understands the kinds of games people want in America. That should have an impact on how Nintendo creates their products.

#12 Posted by ANIMEguy10034 (4771 posts) -

Yeah, if he's not in E3, then something's definitely going on.

@IMAHAPYHIPPO said:

@4myAmuzumament said:

He'll probably show up again at E3. If not, I hope Cammie makes a return.

I actually shuttered when I thought about e3 2008.

Wasn't that the one with Wii Music? lol

#13 Posted by IMAHAPYHIPPO (2604 posts) -

@ANIMEguy10034: And Carrie talking about moms playing with their kids, Shaun White and his balance board snowboarding game, Wii Sports Resort, and the one, pseudo-hardcore Nintendo tile -- New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

e3 2008 is the reason I don't like Nintendo dominating the video game industry -- they coast.

#14 Posted by super600 (30720 posts) -

Iwata does not appear in game specific directs most of the time. The developers of the game being talked about in the game specific direct usually appear.

#15 Posted by MirkoS77 (7623 posts) -

@IMAHAPYHIPPO said:

I try not to say this often -- as it can sound braggy -- but I'm a writer in Hollywood, and I spend a lot of time around creative types. Spending time around people like that has taught me something very important -- we suck at making business decisions. It's important to have people in charge who understand finance, consumer trends, and all that voodoo that creative people don't have the ability to understand. We need those people so our industry can stay in business. It doesn't seem like Nintendo operates that way. As far as the quality of their games is concerned, they benefit from this greatly, but it's doing them a disservice in the end when there's a console that's been out for over a year that was outsold in three months, and this will impact their ability to create games in the future.

It's very hard to invest millions upon millions of dollars in something when you know your potential audience is only going to reach a million units max, as opposed to 5,10,15, etc... Mario Kart Wii sold something like 30 million copies. It won't do that on the Wii U simply because of how many people have the console in their homes.

It's refreshing to read someone saying this. Really, it's a breath of fresh air. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the "Iwata's a game designer, therefor that automatically qualifies him as a great gaming CEO", all evidence to the contrary. This reasoning makes me pull my hair out, because there's really no reasoning behind it. He made good games. I don't understand how people can so simply equate a good game designer to good CEO. There is SO much more to running a business than understanding how to code a piece of software.

Often (very often) the creative-minded clash with the business-minded. They're two completely different types of thinking. I don't know if many know this, but if rumors are true Yamauchi didn't play a videogame in his life. From what I've heard, he held no interest in them. The only game he ever played was a traditional Japanese board game, the name of which eludes me presently. If peoples' beliefs are correct, and Iwata's a good gaming CEO because he was a programmer prior, than logic would question on what basis he would remain qualified as a CEO in any other business? There would be none. Whereas a good businessman would be a successful one regardless of the direction of the company he's running or the market.

Hell, Nintendo survived under Yamauchi's direction for a while before gaming even happened. Iwata, whose expertise in game development has proven nothing to show he's a competent CEO. Instead, on the contrary, he's proven himself to be a doofus who has no idea what he's doing, even in an industry he's an "insider" on.

#16 Posted by IMAHAPYHIPPO (2604 posts) -

@MirkoS77: I think having a background in gaming can be both helpful and damaging. I'll put it in terms of my own industry -- most film executives have no idea how to make movies. If you're ever wondering why you see so many shit movies, it's because stuff like Battleship and the fortieth Die Hard statistically are the kinds of movies that scores big at the box office.

The problem is executives who know nothing about making movies only understand trends, and they don't have the creative ability to see a dud coming from a mile away -- like Battleship, which was literally pitched as Michael Bay's Transformers on the water -- and then blame it on the creative people for the movie not being a smashing success.

So, what you want at the head of a company that specializes in creativity is someone who understands both the creative and the business side of the industry. That kind of person is a rare breed, so it's understandable why you don't see more of it, but that's the kind of person that needs to be running a business that makes money on people's creations.

#17 Edited by roboccs (7072 posts) -

I don't think something big like this could be kept secret. Plus, if Nintendo did can Iwata, they would want shareholders and the public to know. So many people think Iwata is a main reason Nintendo is down right now. If they canned him, they would probably make it public and hope for a rise in their stock prices... It wouldn't benefit them to hide it.

#18 Posted by nini200 (9827 posts) -

@tocool340 said:
@outworld222 said:

Reggie should replace him.

I second this motion!...

So you think a guy that didn't want Xenoblade and other hidden gem titles to get localized, should become the main man at Nintendo? While I think he would make a better president than Mr. Understand, I don't think Reggie really understands what is best for Nintendo either.

I think a Yamauchi should fill that spot again as they seem to know how to run the company aggressively, competitively and correctly.

#19 Posted by PurpleMan5000 (7323 posts) -

From the standpoint of the gamer who enjoys Nintendo titles, I couldn't imagine Nintendo getting a better CEO than Iwata. I hope he never leaves.

#20 Edited by tocool340 (20548 posts) -
@nini200 said:

@tocool340 said:
@outworld222 said:

Reggie should replace him.

I second this motion!...

So you think a guy that didn't want Xenoblade and other hidden gem titles to get localized, should become the main man at Nintendo? While I think he would make a better president than Mr. Understand, I don't think Reggie really understands what is best for Nintendo either.

I think a Yamauchi should fill that spot again as they seem to know how to run the company aggressively, competitively and correctly.

My mindset is, he'd be a better fit than Mr. Rollover Guy. BTW, forgive my ignorance, but where did Reggie say he didn't want Xenoblade and other titles to get localized?...

And yeah, I do agree that Nintendo needs a guy of Yamauchi caliber to take the reins of the company. Unfortunately, I can't think of someone within Nintendo that fits that description...

#21 Posted by Madmangamer364 (3605 posts) -

Eh, I wouldn't jump so far to conclusions as to say that Iwata is no longer in charge based solely on him not being a presenter of a couple of Nintendo Directs. That's hardly anything the CEO should have to do each and every time, and if anything, this could just mean mixing up the presentation by allowing different faces to showcase the games. To me, this simply doesn't seem drastic enough to say "Iwata's been canned," even from behind the scenes.

@IMAHAPYHIPPO said:

@4myAmuzumament said:

He'll probably show up again at E3. If not, I hope Cammie makes a return.

I actually shuttered when I thought about e3 2008.

If it makes you feel better, I don't think Cammie Dunnaway even works at Nintendo anymore. If I recall correctly, she left the company not too long after that E3 press conference. But while we're on that very rare subject, I'm going to say something I don't think very many self-proclaimed Nintendo fans would dare to say...

Nintendo's badly missing a Cammie-like philosophy right now. When I look back to what Nintendo was showing off back in 2008 and the impact many of those games had, it's been clear to me that Nintendo's focus has changed since then... and for the worse. The "soccer mom" approach, despite the backlash it received well after the press conference, wasn't the wrong one by any means, nor do I agree with you that Nintendo was "coasting" during that time. Building/expanding a market isn't something you can accomplish by snapping fingers or simply doing the expected, and regardless of how many of the so-called "gamers" felt about Nintendo at the time, this is what the company was doing... and quite well.

You want coasting? Try E3 2010, where Nintendo shifted their focus to nostalgic brands and "OMG 3D gaming" to lure the so-called "core gamers" in. Try the Wii U's unveiling in 2011, where Nintendo claims its new controller is going to be such a game-changer, while lacking any true game-changing elements. Try right now, where the Wii U's struggles isn't leading to any major risks on Nintendo's part, but rather an apparent reliance on more of the same to keep the ship afloat. I think it's consequence, not coincidence, how all of this has happened since Nintendo moved away from its DS/Wii days and into more conventional territory.

Longer rant short, right now, I think Nintendo's wishing they had the soccer moms' attention again. Instead, not only has the mass market been driven away, but the audience that Nintendo was hoping to reach hasn't even bothered with their latest products. I'm not saying that Cammie's departure in itself is the reason to Nintendo's downfall, but rather that it all comes back to what Nintendo left behind and can now no longer relate to. Just think about how Nintendo's marketing is perceived nowadays, when it could do no wrong just a few years ago in that same field. Even with Iwata at the helm, it's clear something has changed within the company that has lead to this difficult situation.

#22 Posted by Kaze_no_Mirai (11419 posts) -

I'm just assuming he's busy with a lot of things and just doesn't have time for them right now, I honestly don't believe his lack of presence on Directs means anything.

#23 Edited by nini200 (9827 posts) -

@tocool340 said:
@nini200 said:

@tocool340 said:
@outworld222 said:

Reggie should replace him.

I second this motion!...

So you think a guy that didn't want Xenoblade and other hidden gem titles to get localized, should become the main man at Nintendo? While I think he would make a better president than Mr. Understand, I don't think Reggie really understands what is best for Nintendo either.

I think a Yamauchi should fill that spot again as they seem to know how to run the company aggressively, competitively and correctly.

My mindset is, he'd be a better fit than Mr. Rollover Guy. BTW, forgive my ignorance, but where did Reggie say he didn't want Xenoblade and other titles to get localized?...

And yeah, I do agree that Nintendo needs a guy of Yamauchi caliber to take the reins of the company. Unfortunately, I can't think of someone within Nintendo that fits that description...

My mistake, I misread the article. What he said was, he doesn't think 100,000 signatures would turn into 100,000 sales which is true, alot of gamers blow out their rears then when it's time to put the money where their mouth's are, they are silent.

He just seems like a tool imo. At first, I thought he was a decent guy but then the more he talked, the more of a tool he started to become.

Yeah I wish a person of Yamauchi's caliber would take over Nintendo again and I agree, I can't think of anyone, not even Miyamoto.

#24 Edited by Shadowchronicle (26039 posts) -

This might just be my opinion, but I wouldn't want to be the guy featuring tomodachi life.

Seems kind of embarrassing to some extent possibly because of the way the title is. I don't think Iwata is canned though.

#25 Posted by MirkoS77 (7623 posts) -

@PurpleMan5000 said:

From the standpoint of the gamer who enjoys Nintendo titles, I couldn't imagine Nintendo getting a better CEO than Iwata. I hope he never leaves.

I don't think they could get someone much worse. If you so love Nintendo, why in God's name would you want them to keep performing as they have been? They are going down the toilet.

#26 Posted by PurpleMan5000 (7323 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

@PurpleMan5000 said:

From the standpoint of the gamer who enjoys Nintendo titles, I couldn't imagine Nintendo getting a better CEO than Iwata. I hope he never leaves.

I don't think they could get someone much worse. If you so love Nintendo, why in God's name would you want them to keep performing as they have been? They are going down the toilet.

I enjoy playing their games on a console that costs me roughly half as much to own as the competition. I honestly also really like most of the quirky things they put out there, like Miiverse. I understand that they are bleeding money right now, and Iwata's days may be numbered, but I honestly don't care about the company. If they go bankrupt, so be it. I will stop using their systems and software if they go the route of expensive hardware and paid online, anyway.