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Nintendo’s 2014 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders Q&A 1: A Query on E3

NintendObserver“I am very happy that something new created by young people has won the admiration of fans.”


Nintendo’s 2014 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders




In Nintendo’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, you put meeting notices on the screens before the meeting starts. I have attended the shareholders’ meetings of other companies, and some of them have slides featuring the companies’ strengths and some show their own TV commercials. I know that the E3 show usually takes place just before the shareholders’ meeting, and if you could show the highlights of the E3 show on the screen instead of the notices, it would be very helpful. Recently, Nintendo has experienced a decline in performance, and I assume that consumers overseas are not embracing the company’s proposals. Because we are in Japan, it is hard for us to grasp the reactions of consumers overseas. So, I ask you to show shareholders on these screens reactions and responses from foreign consumers playing with trial software at E3.




Genyo Takeda (Senior Managing Director and General Manager of Integrated Research & Development Division, Chairperson of this Annual General Meeting of Shareholders):

As you explained, the world’s biggest video game exhibition is called E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) and it took place in Los Angeles in the U.S. from June 10 this year. Though some of you may already know, I would like to show you a video featuring our events at the E3 show. (E3 video is shown on the screens.)

Also, as this is a good opportunity, I would like to have Mr. Miyamoto, who has just come back from his business trip to attend E3, explain about the show.


Shigeru Miyamoto (Senior Managing Director and General Manager of Entertainment Analysis & Development Division):

The E3 show took place two weeks ago in Los Angeles, with about 50 thousand participants. Because E3 is a trade show, the participants are retailers, the media and others, not the general public. So, 50 thousand is quite a huge number. As always, Nintendo made some announcements at the show.

As you have seen in the video we just showed, regarding Wii U, this year we are going to release “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.” We have already released “Mario Kart 8” for Wii U and would like to carry on that momentum to “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U,” which is our general strategy for Wii U this year. In addition, we have announced other Wii U software titles such as “Kirby and the Rainbow Curse,” “Mario Party 10” and “Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.” “Splatoon,” which also featured in the video, is a team-shooter game in which you fire ink. There are a number of shooting games in the U.S., but the unique thing about this game is that you are in two teams trying to cover the ground with your ink, and it surely had people’s attention. This game is under development by a team that mainly consists of our young employees. I am very happy that something new created by young people has won the admiration of fans.

Regarding what I did at E3, for now I am focusing on how to make people understand the significance of the Wii U GamePad, so I introduced some titles including some prototypes which utilize the features of the GamePad. For instance, in “Project Giant Robot” (temp.), you can control a robot’s upper body by moving your arms with the GamePad in your hands and take down opponents as if you were in a sumo-wrestling match. In “Project Guard” (temp.), you beat enemies breaking into a maze while monitoring security footage of 12 security cameras shown on a screen as if you were in a security office. Also, at the event we held for children, I introduced a game called “Mario Maker” (temp.) in which you can create and play with your own Super Mario levels, as an example of taking advantage of the GamePad.

In past E3 shows, the main method of communication was through the media that attended the show. However, recently we have also started to actively disclose information directly to consumers. A good example was the video we have just shown, which you can watch on our website at any time. Another example, “Treehouse Live,” is an online program featuring video game developers giving out information on the latest video games from our E3 booth. People enjoyed it through new game program channels on Twitch or YouTube. The Nintendo Digital Event,” which we broadcast on the morning of the first day of E3, was viewed 4 to 5 million times, and the total views of our E3-related videos numbered in the tens of millions. This means that our messages reached a large number of people all over the world through the Internet, not only the people who attended E3 events.

Though we designed Wii U to be a very convenient tool when connected to the TV in your living room, the appeal in that regard is not sufficiently understood. We also faced difficulties like a shortage of Wii U software titles or slow system startup. As for the system, we distributed a new network system on June 3. By updating Wii U with this new system, you can start up Wii U much more quickly than before, and we simultaneously released a new control method for “Pikmin 3”; we are doing our utmost.

Both “Project Giant Robot” (temp.) and “Project Guard” (temp.) are enjoyable also for people watching the players because they can root for robot wrestlers or tell a player in which of the 12 security cameras they see enemies. In fact, our employees enjoy these games a lot. At E3, I promoted the idea that playing Wii U in your living room offers great entertainment for families because it is fun not only for the players but also for everyone around them. Every year a number of companies exhibit at E3 and Nintendo is compared with other companies, most likely with Sony and Microsoft. This year, the majority of what the other developers exhibited was bloody shooter software that was mainly set in violent surroundings or, in a different sense, realistic and cool worlds. Because so many software developers are competing in that category, it seemed like most of the titles at the show were of that kind. In such circumstances, Nintendo looked very unique and was able to receive such positive reactions as “Nintendo had a variety of different software” and “the company is offering games we can feel safe with.” From this aspect of differentiation with the other companies, we had a great E3 show this year.


Shinya Takahashi (Director and General Manager of Software Planning & Development Division):

Mr. Miyamoto has outlined the general reactions from overseas consumers. We have also received a lot of responses to “amiibo,” our character figures with NFC (near field communication) functionality. In the U.S. and European countries, there is a huge market for video games compatible with character figures. This is one of the reasons why there are rather high expectations of us in the North American market. I would say that one of our major achievements (at the E3 show) was that consumers positively perceived “amiibo,” one of our character IP utilization plans.


— The 74th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
Nintendo JP.



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