New Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa Talks Mobile Games and 3DS Successor
Nintendo announced its newest president would be Mr. Shuntaro Furukawa earlier in the week, and in a shareholder meeting, he discussed his future plans.
Mr. Shuntaro Furukawa was named Nintendo’s sixth president earlier this week, succeeding Mr. Tatsumi Kimishima in the role. Mr. Furukawa is the son of illustrator Taku Furukawa; his favorite game is Golf Story, grew up playing the Famicom, and has worked in various positions at Nintendo over the years, including Outside Director of The Pokémon Company, General Manager, Corporate Planning Department, and now, Representative Director and President.
Following the company’s 78th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Mr. Shuntaro Furukawa sat down to discuss a number of topics with executives, including his plans for the future of the company. The meeting brought to light many of Mr. Furukawa’s plans for the future of the company and its hardware.
First off, he began by stating his goals for Nintendo’s mobile gaming division by saying, “In order to make smartphone games a pillar of our company’s income, reaching at least 100 billion yen is a must.”
Mr. Furukawa would go on to say that, “an important business to keep in mind for the future. [Having sales reach at least 100 billion yen] is going to be difficult, a challenge to be sure. We’ll keep producing original, creative games to realize that goal, however.”
Additionally, he noted that the Nintendo Switch is performing well. At present, Nintendo products are sold in around 60 countries and regions, but there has been an expressed desire to expand more heavily into India and Southeast Asia. Nintendo’s other console, the 3DS, may also be seeing some love according to Mr. Furukawa’s plans, as he expressed the possibility of a successor, saying that Nintendo is “considering various possibilities.” While this is by no means a confirmation of any sort of new console, it does suggest that Nintendo is exploring its options.
Lastly, Mr. Furukawa expressed that Nintendo will continue to strive to bring joy to families and players across the world, stating that, “having employees devoted to bringing smiles and surprises to the world is one of the company’s greatest strengths. I want Nintendo to continue to be a company that keeps entertaining and making people smile long into the future.”
In addition, Mr. Furukawa released a statement to shareholders and investors on Nintendo’s website:
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.