CEO ‘Nintendo’ Expires; Jeopardizes Company’s Future

Nintendo is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It is the world’s largest video game company by revenue. Being, one of the most influnetial video game company, and also one of my favorites, it is heartbreaking to know that it’s CEO has departed this world.

Nintendo revealed on Monday that its chief executive officer Satoru Iwata has passed away due to cancer at the age of 55, in a disruption for the Japanese video game giant, few months after he quit the consoles-only policy and embarked a push into the flourishing smartphone games world.

After the CEO’s demise, the Kyoto based firm, which is also the maker of Donkey Kong and Pokemon – stated “Iwata passed away on Saturday, with analysts warning that his death could dent the company’s turnaround plan”.

Mr Iwata declared about his illness last year and didn’t attend the firm shareholder’s meeting in June 2015, though the intensity of his illness was uncertain at that time.

He began working again after a few months, and was persistently the public face of the company, proclaiming the financial results in May.

“Recently, as the result of… detailed examination, a growth was found in my bile duct,” he mentioned in a  brief statement at the time.

“In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms. I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted.”

Britain’s National Health Service states that; the onset of Bile Duct cancer is relatively scarce, but this vigorous disease gets to people, mostly at the age of 65.

(Also See: Nintendo Sees Transformation, but Won’t Forget ‘Mario’)

Iwata, commenced his career as a programmer, was at the senior most position at Nintendo as soon as 2002, just in two year’s time, but his entry into the flourishing smart-phone business wasn’t seen until recently.

Iwata had initially been censured for turning down the license of some of the company’s recognized brands for use on mobile applications.

Cuts in the market of the Wii U console dropped down 0.51 percent to JPY 19,415 (approximately Rs. 10,000) in early trading, declining from about five percent jump at the opening time.

‘No one like him’
“The share price might have gone up at the start because investors were expecting some key changes after the news, but I don’t think (the buying) was being driven by any particularly profound thinking,” added Satoshi Tanaka, who is an analyst at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets.

“When you sit back and think about it… I don’t see that there is anyone who can run the company like Iwata. Under his leadership, it was making small but steady steps forward.”

Nintendo claimed that directors Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto would look into running the Super Mario creator.

“I am afraid the company might lose balance without Iwata,” said Tanaka.

Last year, Iwata mentioned he would cut down his salary in half for many months to recompense for the downturn , which has battled a lot, as rivals Sony and Microsoft dissociated themselves with console sales.

Collectively, all the three companies are also working on trending cheap or even free -games which are downloadable on smartphones and other essential mobile devices.

Nintendo Chief, had raised a point that, gambling into the over crowded arena of smart-phones and tablets jeopardized, coming out of the central business and dismantling the value of their game genesis.

Iwata later on accepted  Nintendo had to move into new areas.

“The world is changing, so any company that is not coping with the change will fall into decline,” he said.

During March, Nintendo disclosed it has plans to buy a stake in a mobile gaming company in Tokyo known as DeNA, according to the deal that required developing smartphone games based on Nintendo’s host of trendy characters.

The changes took place as Nintendo stepped out a profit in its final fiscal year but cautioned its bottom line will diminish in the currency business year.

Nintendo reports a JPY 41.8 billion (approximately Rs. 2,163 crores) net profit for the year to March – reversing a JPY 23.2 billion loss over a year ago – while revenue was 3.8 percent to JPY 549.8 billion (approximately Rs. 2,846 crores).

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