Nintendo President Retires as Revenue Doubles
Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, who took on the role after the death of Satoru Iwata in 2015, announced his retirement today, saying he believes the company needs to be led by younger management.
Shuntaro Furukawa, 46, will replace the 68-year-old Kimishima on June 28. The news comes as Nintendo announces it more than doubled its revenue through strong Nintendo Switch sales in the most recent fiscal year.
Kimishima oversaw the launch of the Switch in March 2017, which went on to sell 18 million units and 69 million copies of games. Nintendo believes it can sell 20 million more of the console in this fiscal year, which ends March 2019.
Incoming Nintendo president Furukawa joined Nintendo in 1994. He has been the Outside Director of The Pokémon Company since 2012 and the in charge of the global marketing department since 2016.
Bloomberg reports that Furukawa said he hopes to balance Nintendo’s traditions of originality and flexibility.
“I grew up playing the Famicom and come from that generation,” Bloomberg reports Furukawa saying. “Now as a member of management with Super Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto, I have a lot of respect for him. On the other hand, with this new job that can’t just be it, so I expect to say what needs to be said to run the company.”
Nintendo just hit its goal of selling 15 million Switch in its 2017 fiscal year, with the company moving 15.05 million of the hybrid console in the fiscal year ending March 2018.
The company said in its fiscal report Thursday that it plans to lean into the Switch’s ability to allow anyone to play anywhere, anytime in the coming fiscal year with an aim of reaching an even broader market. In part, the company says it plans to do that through the release of a variety of atypical games, like the company’s cardboard construction system “Nintendo Labo,” which came out in April, the upcoming release of “Mario Tennis Aces” in June, and the 2018 release of the next installment in the “Super Smash Bros.” franchise. Nintendo still plans to activate the Nintendo Switch Online paid service in September as well.
“Our goal is to take full advantage of the platform by continuously introducing compelling new software while further increasing sales of popular titles that are already in the market,” according to the report.
While the Nintendo Switch serves as both a home console and handheld system, Nintendo will continue to support its portable Nintendo 3DS, which now has an install base of more than 72 million.
Finally, the company continues its work on slowly increasing its smartphone offerings, including the upcoming release of a “Mario Kart Tour.”
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