For quite a number of months now, consumers have been plagued with a shortage of popular Nintendo products, most notably certain Amiibo figures. This has resulted in a large number of claims that Nintendo has been intentionally constraining the supply of these products in order to artificially create buzz about them. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime recently sat down with Stephen Totilo of Kotaku to try and put these claims to rest once and for all.
As far as Amiibo are concerned, Reggie says that things are going great:
“We just launched Wave 4, and over roughly the past 30 days we’ve sold over a million Amiibo in just the United States. What does that suggest? It suggests we’ve made dramatic improvements in the supply chain, that we’re putting significant amounts of Amiibo into the marketplace. We’ve done replenishments on Marth. We’ve done replenishments on the Wii Fit Trainer, some of the more rare Amiibo. So, our strategy is to satisfy as much of that demand as we can and that’s what we’re working hard to do.”
— Reggie Fils-Aime
In response to claims that Nintendo has been intentionally keeping supplies low, Reggie holds that this isn’t true at all:
Reggie Fils-Aime: That’s why I shared the million-unit number. You don’t sell through a million units by constraining supply. And, honestly, there is no business in disappointing your consumer. The mentality that suggests we are somehow constricting supply is rubbish. We want every consumer to be satisfied. We want every Amiibo player out there to be a completionist and have every single one. We’re working hard to get the supply into stores.
Stephen Totilo: Do you have any strategies to give people more opportunities? I see Amazon will do a limited-edition Amiibo. I may be getting the retailer wrong. And it’s sold out before anybody can even get it. It feels to me like trying to get concert tickets now. You’re competing with the scalpers or whoever. Do you guys have ideas or plans or anything you can share about that?
Fils-Aime: I think you have to put the auction person off to the side.
Totilo: The eBay flipper.
Fils-Aime: Right. The flipper, you have to put them off to the side. This is a consumer who thinks these are like gold. We’re focused on the everyday consumer, and we want that consumer to be completely satisifed. In the end, though, the retailer manages how they execute a pre-sale or how they make the product available. We certainly give suggestions and guidance. The retailer is making that call. And, again, to separate, when there’s a supply issue, that’s Nintendo’s fault. But in terms of managing a pre-sale process, that’s something that each individual retailer controls.
These shortages certainly are bad for everyone. Consumers get frustrated that they can’t find what they’re looking for. Nintendo and the retailers aren’t making as much money as they could be. It certainly seems like Nintendo is doing what it can to fix the situation. Do you think they’re doing enough?