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Objectively, how do you feel about NoA/NoJ/NoE's recent performance? [roundtable]
Do you think Reggie's doing a good job? How about Iwata or whoever the president of NoE is? I say objectively because I'm not talking about from your perspective. I'm talking about from a stockholder's perspective.

For instance, many interesting games go unlocalized in America. But is that sound, form a business perspective? Why did NoJ even greenlight them in the first place?

I'm not sure what Reggie contributes, honestly. NoA's release strategy has been passable, in terms of the holiday period, but it really does seem that localizing the odd game would go a long way towards filling out the overall schedule.

Iwata may be something of a genius. Or just a really good businessman, at the very least. It galls me that he makes a low six-figure salary while American executives can get, like, 50 billion just for fucking up. The Wii and DS were an incredible turnaround. If he can pull off 3DS (which violates many of the principles that Nintendo's handheld monopoly was formed on) and especially Wii 2 (which has a long way to go, in terms of proving itself to gamers and third-parties), hats off.

I feel like most of Nintendo's strengths (software) and weaknesses (online strategy) originate from Japan. I'm not sure how much NoA contributes.

Other than the cockblocking, I mean.

I don't know much about NoE, to be honest. It seems that they are catering more to the 'hardcore' Nintendo fan, but that seems like a poor decision, given the mass floppage of all of their exclusive localizations. Was that due to poor marketing, or did Reggie make the right choice, from a business perspective?

Anyway, what do you guys think about all this?

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Posted: 02/07/11, 19:55:08
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How much control does NOA really have though? I know Reggie's well aware of the smartphone/app market and what that could mean for the 3DS...but is there really much he can do about it besides advertise and spread hype for Nintendo's portables (for instance)? He's basically in charge of presenting NCL's stuff in a way that's appealing to the US consumer, and I think he does a great job at that. He's also an entertaining public speaker and does well in interviews, even when forced to defend the Big N's questionable decisions. That said, localizing cult games like Mother 3 could certainly go a long way in improving Nintendo's reputation with more devoted gamers.

Overall, I'd say Nintendo's shareholders (like me!) are mostly happy. The company's raking in the money, and the 3DS already has a lot of preorders, despite pre-launch skepticism (battery life and launch lineup being the main issues).
Posted: 02/07/11, 20:12:22
I'm betting Iwata makes more than 6 figures when all is said and done. Either way, it is tough to feel too bad for someone who makes a lot more than I will ever make. Anyway, NOJ is doing pretty well I think. Good mix there, and they even stepped outside typical Nintendo fare and published stuff like Fatal Frame 4.

NOA... eh. I think they could definitely be doing much better localizing. Does it affect business? Tough to say, but it affects their image with the "hardcore" for sure. One good thing they are doing though is pushing stuff like Monster Hunter Tri and publishing stuff like Dragon Quest IX/VI.

Don't know much about NOE. They seem to be doing ok localizing.
Posted: 02/07/11, 20:48:52
But is it actually financially responsible of them?

I don't think NoA has much to do with the decision to publish Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, and Samurai Warriors 3. You notice a similar 'audience' for all of those titles, right?

Reggie's a decent spokesperson. That's all he used to be, but I am assuming that the promotion to President gave him a bit of power. At least in terms of gate control. And he's made several comments that make it seem like he has a hand in localization decisions, even though, at times, he has not even recognized the names of games that NoJ published. That's a bit worrisome.

But, yeah, my assumption is that NoA (led by Reggie) generally decides which titles they want to bring over, how they want to market them, when to schedule their release dates, etc. And, given that Reggie doesn't have much of an apparent background in gaming, I think his decisions are mostly financial. That might be better for the bottom line, but it might also be frustrating for voracious Nintendo fans.

NoA probably handles Western third-party relations, as well.

Hey, didn't Bill Trinen just get some kind of promotion? His title in recent interviews seemed more impressive.
Posted: 02/07/11, 22:27:14
^ I hope Bill Trinen got a promotion, or at least a damn raise. That guy's been on Nintendo's payroll for a while, and considering all the work he does for them, (translation, PR, interviews, etc) he should get some props. I wonder how well Leslie Swan gets paid? I've seen her (his?) name in the credits of several Nintendo games over the years. Seems Nintendo does a good job at keeping their staff on-board, at the very least.

Er... right. Topic.

I think they're all doing very, very well. Objectively speaking. Nintendo's making tons of money, they're constantly on the best-seller's list, and the mindshare/market presence is the best there is since the SNES/N64 days. As far as business-sense goes, Nintendo is king of the hill. Shareholders should be quite happy.
Posted: 02/08/11, 00:04:07
I don't think I know enough about what Reggie does to really have an opinion on this. And depending on who you listen to, Reggie is either just a puppet whose strings are pulled by Iwata; or a puppet with slightly more power than that. Eh.

The two things I remember Reggie being responsible off the top of my head are: releasing the DS in North America first, and making Wii Sports the pack-in title when Japan wanted Wii Play to be the pack-in instead.

In the first case, did the DS really benefit from being released so early? Remember the dry period. Plus, does anyone actually think that early release is what ensure its victory over the PSP? Seemed to me like the buzz didn't get going until Nintendogs and Brain Age were released anyway (and Kirby's Canvas Curse as far as "the hardcore" go).

In the second case, making Wii Sports the pack-in... well I don't think there is any doubt there that it greatly increased the buzz around the Wii. Now that really was a smart decision.
Posted: 02/08/11, 16:58:05
Compared to 2009 Nintendo really stepped it up for 2010. I think they are doing fine right now.
Posted: 02/08/11, 19:35:52
If I were a shareholder I would probably have access to the business plan and financials that support the decision of not bringing Japan only titles in US, which as far as Nintendo fans are concerned, its NOA's greatest crime this generation. Therefore from a business perspective, Nintendo's blue ocean strategy paid off in droves. 3DS seems to keep the portable market's focus on Nintendo for years to come.

Subjectively, I can't help but express my disappointment for NOA's direction under Reggie. I remember that on the GCN days, NOA did a lot to satisfy the voice of customers. These days though, seems like it's all about business and nothing else. NOJ has done a much better job than NOA in not only securing third party exclusives, but even publishing them and helping diversify Wii's software library.
Posted: 02/09/11, 06:09:31  - Edited by 
 on: 02/09/11, 06:11:01
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