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Is Nintendo doomed? Not likely. Just take a look at how much money it's got in the bank

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Fiscal projections. Capital budgeting. Shareholder investment. Yadda yadda yadda. Unless you like accounts and annual reports and stock markets and banks and all that, the world of corporate finance is really boring. But not today. Check this out for a completely not boring financial fact about Nintendo: Nintendo has £6.7 ($10.5) billion in the bank and, even if making big losses every year, that considerable nest egg would keep the company going until 2052. That's, like, 40 years away.

Above: Nintendo big boss Satoru Iwata and a big bag of money

Here's the exact quote taken from a feature in the latest issue of the UK's Nintendo Gamer magazine: "Buried in reams of financial data is the revelation that Nintendo have 812.8 billion Yen (£6.7/$10.5 billion) in the bank - enough for it to take a 20 billion Yen loss (£163/$257 million) every year until 2052. Then there's almost 469 billion Yen (£3.8/$6.0 billion) held in premises, equipment and investments. When that runs out - we're in the year 2075 by this point - they've got some of the most valuable intellectual property in gaming to sell off before the company goes out of business."

Taking all of those exciting numbers into account, even if the worse case scenario happens and assuming Nintendo continues to release, on average, three new Mario games a year - we've still got... 189 new Mario games ahead of us. Also, there's a pretty good chance that we'll get another F-Zero at some point within that timeframe.

So Wii sales may be plummeting like a lemming, 3DS needed a hefty price cut to counter sluggish sales and generally things have been looking a bit bleak for some time, but don't be hasty predicting the end for Nintendo. Even if it all goes properly down the toilet for the Japanese behemoth, it's got more than enough stashed away for a rainy day. In fact, it's got enough for 22,995 rainy days.

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42 comments

  • yonderTheGreat - February 13, 2012 5:42 a.m.

    Math tells me that that much money, in cash ($100 bills please), would weigh slightly more than the Titanic. Good times.
  • Karenthian - February 13, 2012 5:59 a.m.

    Maths is awesome like that.
  • MCN2011 - February 13, 2012 5:46 a.m.

    Do you reckon they'd lend me a tenner until payday?
  • sirdilznik - February 13, 2012 5:47 a.m.

    Are we still really going with "3DS uptake has been slow"? Really? They're in the neighborhood of 15 or 16 million units sold worldwide right now and the device hasn't even been out for a year. Yeah it had a rough stretch last summer, but then it exploded and has since surpassed the pace of both the DS (you know, the best selling handheld ever) and the Wii (little know fact: The Wii won this console generation). As far as Ninty taking a loss last year, Japan went through a MASSIVE catastrophe last year and this is on top of the worldwide recession that is still taking place. Everyone on Japan is hurting (look at how Sony fared for evidence). Plus they sliced the price on the 3DS temporarily taking losses on each unit and are pouring money into Wii U R&D. So yeah, I agree with Cundy that Ninty will be just fine. As far as a new F-Zero goes, do you promise? Please make this happen Ninty, I want a new F-Zero so bad. That game would look insane in 3D.
  • ncurry2 - February 13, 2012 6:20 a.m.

    I agree. FFS, the Nintendo is doomed trend died a while ago when everyone finally wised up. The 3DS is doing wonderfully now and the Wii U will probably follow suit, at least for a few years.
  • Matt Cundy - February 13, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    At launch 3DS sales were great - yes - but after the initial uptake it slowed to a crawl. Nintendo reacted by implementing a hefty price cut - something it wouldn't have done if 3DS sales didn't need a kick up the ass. Agreed, though, since last August's price cut, 3DS has continued to gather momentum (it's been the best selling console in Japan every week since the drop in price). So, fair dos - me saying '3DS uptake has been slow' is misleading, so I've tweaked the words to be more accurate.
  • ultimatepunchrod - February 13, 2012 5:54 a.m.

    Wow. Good for them for being financially responsible. I wish American corporations could learn a thing or two from how the East does business.
  • Y2Ken - February 13, 2012 6:30 a.m.

    Well on the one hand that's reassuring - means they can be a bit more adventurous and take a few risks on things other companies perhaps wouldn't be able to afford to. On the other hand, it might be slightly concerning that they might not be paying as much attention to the desires of fans just because they know that they're safe either way. That said perhaps that's not such a bad thing - after all, it's often said that us gamers don't really know what we actually want, we just think that we do.
  • Eliath - February 13, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    I love Nintendo. I really do. I miss the old Nintendo. However the troll in me wants to point out that they posted a 70 billion Yen loss in October. Makes those 22,995 days a lot shorter if that keeps up. I like competition. It's what pushes all the manufacturer's to do better rather than shoveling out more of the same. I hope the big N stays around for quite a while.
  • Eliath - February 13, 2012 6:49 a.m.

    Glaring typo is glaring. /facepalm
  • smashbrolink - February 25, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Not if they recoup that loss within the next couple of years, with interest.
  • talleyXIV - July 17, 2013 4:01 a.m.

    Something tells me that other companies go through that at certain times toooooo..... http://www.google.com/search?q=Sales+figures+ps3+xbox+nintendo&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.49405654,d.aWc,pv.xjs.s.en_US.QXiTEk6XjhM.O&biw=1440&bih=785&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=HnnmUZmmIeSZyAG004GoAg#um=1&hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=microsoft+sony+nintendo+profits&oq=microsoft+sony+nintendo+profits&gs_l=img.3...7551.10650.4.10726.21.9.1.10.10.0.73.213.3.3.0....0.0..1c.1.20.img.9si2DzU2HjU&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.49405654%2Cd.aWc%2Cpv.xjs.s.en_US.QXiTEk6XjhM.O&fp=c6ea16fc70fc3cba&biw=1440&bih=785&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=G5ncJ6E1lv3xdM%3A%3BawHz6x-on0AZAM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fgamerinvestments.com%252Fvideo-game-stocks%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2010%252F06%252Fsony-nintendo-microsoft-operating-income-chart-fix.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fgamerinvestments.com%252Fvideo-game-stocks%252Findex.php%252F2010%252F06%252F28%252Fstate-of-the-video-game-console-war%252F%3B859%3B341
  • LOZ4EVAH - February 13, 2012 7:41 a.m.

    Whoa! Makes my 6 billion look insignificant.
  • BrunDeign - February 14, 2012 6:41 a.m.

    But not my 6 trillion. TO THE MONEY PIT!
  • charlie_ruskiy - February 13, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    Who gives a crap about Nintendo anymore? When was the last time they made anything original? Or anything good for that matter? They should just making consoles all together and port all their classics to other things. Just my opinion.
  • Cyberninja - February 13, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    um you forgot the eshop last i check nintendo added an original first party game about 2 weeks ago its called Sakura samurai and a while before that pushmo, also the last time they released a good game was today its called rhythm heaven fever. you can just go back to blindly following sony and uncharted and whatever else, while i go back to enjoying everything and recognizing the success and failure of every company
  • Raffie - December 3, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    "Who gives a crap about Nintendo anymore?" 3DS sales worldwide: 34.98 million Wii U sales worldwide: 4 million + and counting in the first year Numbers talk loudest so it's clear many people (including you cause you are actually talking about them i.e. giving a crap) DO give a crap. "When was the last time they made anything original? Or anything good for that matter?" Their games are more original than that of the competition (Mario 3D World was a unique Mario experience which blended gameplay elements and Zelda Skyward Sword brought true relevance to motion controls meanwhile CoD is still just point and shoot). Metacritic scores in the high 90's and high software sales mean the games they make are "good" in many people's opinions. Based on the above, you have no argument for Nintendo going third party. Plus, Iwata said himself that they would stop making games altogether instead if push came to shove. Based on your statements you are either delusional, ignorant, or just trolling. NOT my opinion, it's a factual assessment.
  • shawksta - February 13, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    Quite an observation there Cundy, and this is assuming Nintendo does bad every year. The 3DS had a shitty start but it is now held high and got ALLOT coming,and the Wii U can make or break Nintendo's stance but even then they won't be "Doomed to die" People overexaggerate, Nintendo's not going down till Gaming does. A New Fzero? That will be awesome, but who knows, if were REALLY lucky by like 10% E3 might hold what we dream off. Anythings possible now, Luigi's Mansion's getting a sequel, god knows what's next!
  • talleyXIV - July 17, 2013 3:58 a.m.

    3DS comes out and has terrible launch titles, sells next to nothing. Internet's reaction: OH MY GOD NINTENDO IS DONE. THEY WILL NEVER RECOVER. 6 months later: Nintendo releases first party titles like Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land. 3DS sales sky rocket and dominate Vita. Wii U comes out with terrible launch titles, sells next to nothing. Internet's reaction: OH MY GOD NINTENDO IS DONE. THE WII U WILL NEVER RECOVER. 6-12 months later: Nintendo releases Pikmin 3, Super Smash Bros. Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong, etc. (It recovers) I can't believe people don't see what is happening. History never repeats, except for Nintendo.
  • shawksta - July 17, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Heh nice one (despite replying to a late comment XD but otherwise good point) Ive heard that in Japan Pikmin 3 is actually selling more than its original's did in NSMB standards which is surprising coming from a series not known for selling well.

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