Nintendo's Iwata says layoffs make for worse games

Employees fearing for their jobs not conducive to development

Nintendo's had better years. The 3DS was the best-selling console in the U.S. in May, but the Wii U is looking more and more like a touch-enabled albatross around its neck. Some wondered why Nintendo hasn't cut staff to shore up its bottom line at its 73rd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

"If we reduce the number of employees for better short-term financial results, however, employee morale will decrease, and I sincerely doubt employees who fear that they may be laid off will be able to develop software titles that could impress people around the world," Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata responded.

We barely go a week without reporting layoffs or studio closures, but Iwata thinks--at least for Nintendo--that would be counterproductive.

"I also know that some employers publicize their restructuring plan to improve their financial performance by letting a number of their employees go, but at Nintendo, employees make valuable contributions in their respective fields, so I believe that laying off a group of employees will not help to strengthen Nintendo’s business in the long run. Our current policy is to achieve favorable results by continuously cutting unnecessary expenses and increasing business efficiency."

On the other hand, he was noncommittal about the quality of Nintendo's cafeteria food: "Opinions vary considerably," he said in response to one (we imagine slightly glib) shareholder.


One of GR+'s news crew, Connor also writes features from time to time and does a lil' streamin'-streamin' on the side. Chrom is his husband and nothing will ever come between them.
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