From playing cards, to toys, and to the video games giant it is today, Nintendo has never been a company afraid to reinvent itself. After 30 years of video game manufacturing, Nintendo published a Q&A interview with Satoru Iwata for investors in which he states the company is ready to do just that.
Iwata was clear that Nintendo has no intention of distancing itself from video games; instead, their strategy “for the next 10 years is to change the definition of entertainment and expand the area that Nintendo can do business in . . . ”
Last year, Nintendo released plans for their ‘Quality of Life’ campaign in which they hope to expand their goals from not just bringing entertainment to their customers but also improving their health, but at the time they were vague as to what this would entail. While they still don’t have specifics, Iwata expanded on this goal of ‘QOL’ to be at the core of whatever new direction they go next.
Part of this desire to reinvent entertainment seems to stem from Iwata’s frustration with the video games industry’s lack of desire to try out new things. He lists some complaints he has about ‘norms’ in video games that actually not too old, and yet most video game companies feel pressured to follow. This includes making instruction manuals (which he suspects “only around 5 percent of consumers bother to read”), including tutorials, sticking to traditional controller designs, and keeping game formats predictable.
“I have been constantly asking myself whether being bound by such ideas really does us any good when we are actually required to think out of the box and have a broader perspective, so we have redefined our definition of entertainment as “things which improve people’s QOL in enjoyable ways” and encouraged our developers to take on this challenge.”
Though he couldn’t say anything concrete about it, “people inside the company have started to make proposals by asking me whether they are in line with the company’s vision,” Iwata said. “This is something Nintendo has to keep on doing for the long run.”
Nintendo hopes that with this new direction will grow their game population, but “for us to take the next step forward, it is of the utmost importance to us that we must not narrowly think about what we should do in order to expand the gaming population.”