Former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata tragically passed away in 2015, leaving a massive hole in Nintendo’s hierarchy. Longtime Nintendo executive Tatsumi Kimishima stepped in to fill the role, and
did a fantastic job overall, but his tenure was always meant as a stop gap. Kimishima announced back in April that he would soon be stepping down and turning the Presidency over to someone else, and that day has finally come.
During the 78th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Tatsumi Kimishima officially turned the top job at Nintendo over to the much younger Shuntaro Furukawa. Furukawa has been with the company since 1994, and he was previously both a Managing Executive Officer and Supervisor of Corporate Analysis & Administration Division at Nintendo.
In his first official message to shareholders as President, Furukawa promised to continue to expand the Nintendo brand through the dedicated gaming device business and the mobile business, as well as non-gaming ventures like theme parks and video content. He also promised that the company will continue to adapt and evolve to the changing times while sticking to their core philosophies.
To Shareholders and Investors:
Since the launch of Family Computer System (called Nintendo Entertainment System outside Japan) in 1983, Nintendo has been offering the world unique and original entertainment products under the development concept of hardware and software integration. In the field of home entertainment, the video game industry is one of the few industries established in Japan that spread around the world, and Nintendo has established itself as a well-known brand truly representing video game culture throughout the world.
We want to continue being a company that creates entertainment to bring smiles to people’s faces. We also want to expand the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP; in other words, we want more people to have access to the characters and worlds from games created by Nintendo, and thereby raise the corporate value of our business.
Based on this fundamental strategy, we will continue striving to offer products and services that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender, or gaming experience by keeping our dedicated video game platform business with its integrated hardware and software at the core of our operations, as we have always done.
Within our dedicated video game platform business, we will continue our efforts to introduce an even wider range of consumers to the unique appeal of Nintendo Switch, which can be played anytime, anywhere, with anyone. We will likewise work to continue providing software that can be enjoyed by a variety of consumers. In addition, we will work toward strengthening our digital business and building longer-term relationships with consumers through services such as Nintendo Switch Online.
We continue to expand the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP in the world beyond game platforms developed by Nintendo. One method for achieving this is by expanding our game business to smart devices, which have built an extensive installed base worldwide. The experience of playing games on smart devices is different from that of playing games on the dedicated video game platforms that we develop with integrated hardware and software, which has yielded new opportunities to develop and operate games that more people around the world can enjoy on their smart devices.
We are also bringing Nintendo characters to several different sectors, including theme parks, video content and character-based merchandise, to increase the opportunities for consumers to encounter Nintendo IP in their everyday lives. With support from our external partners, we are actively working on these aspects of the business, which differ from the dedicated video game platform business that has been a part of Nintendo for so many years. We intend to expand the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP by raising awareness across an even broader consumer demographic through these opportunities to make contact with consumers outside of games.
Nintendo will continue to flexibly transform itself by adapting to changing times while constantly valuing the spirit of originality based on the belief that “the true value of entertainment lies in its uniqueness” – and we will continue to provide products and services that surprise and delight consumers.
We ask you, our shareholders and investors, for your continued support and encouragement.
We also previously reported that Nintendo of Europe President Satoru Shibata would be stepping down from his current role and taking on a new position as Outside Director of The Pokémon Company and Director of Nintendo. Stephan Bole has since been announced as his replacement and will take over the role immediately.
Bole has previously served as the managing director of Nintendo of France, the senior managing director of corporate strategy, and senior managing director of European subsidiaries and affiliates. Bole will be joined by Koji Miyake, who will serve as Nintendo of Europe’s CEO. He was previously the general manager of the human resources department at Nintendo’s Japanese headquarters.