Last week, on Friday, the usual Nintendo Investor Briefing was held, following the presentation of the latest financial results of the company. The briefing is made of two parts: the presentation by the president, and a Q&A session with investors.
For details about the presentation from the Investor Briefing, please check out this post!
For the Q&A itself, you can find the official English translation of the transcript on this page. Nothing really new was revealed during this Q&A, but it still makes for a pretty interesting read (provided you have time for it, and can stomach the very corporate-style answers from the Nintendo executives!).
Question 1: Regarding the downward revision of the Nintendo Switch hardware unit sales forecast for this fiscal year, what is different now compared to your expectations at the start of this fiscal year? Iʼd also like to know how many units you intend to sell in the coming fiscal year, and your sales strategy for doing so.
Question 2: For the reason the Nintendo Switch hardware sales forecast for this fiscal year was revised down to 17 million units, I would think it is largely because Nintendo Switch hardware sales did not increase during the first half of this fiscal year and the releases of major titles were concentrated in October through December. I’d like to know what kind of process management is currently in place for software development, as well as your approach to Nintendo Switch hardware from the viewpoint of making software easier to develop?
Question 3: You described the new basic strategy, which is “expanding the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP.” Did the importance of how many units of hardware have been sold change compared to before when you changed your business strategy from “expanding the gaming population” to this new basic strategy?
Question 4: Unit sales of Nintendo 3DS have declined significantly. Iʼd like to hear your thought on sales plans, for instance, coexistence of Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch, as well as any ideas for Nintendo Switch at a lower price point or smaller size as such.
Question 5: Even though youʼve stated your intention to maximize the value of Nintendo IP, itʼs still impressive to see that titles using existing IP can exceed sales of 10 million units. But your titles that have offered new kinds of play have not yet demonstrated explosive growth in sales nor have they taken the world by storm like some of your past offerings. Do you think the variety of consumer preferences is a factor in this? Considering the possible reasons and how the environment has changed compared to how it was before, Iʼm wondering if you feel the need to alter Nintendoʼs development concept in response. Also, have there been any changes with regards to the younger developers to whom Mr. Miyamoto is delegating responsibilities? I can imagine there are some aspects that should change and some that should not, and Iʼd like to hear your current take on the matter.
Question 6: This is about theme park development. With work progressing steadily to open the theme park by the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, I would imagine that a complete view of the project is getting clear inside the company, since itʼs about a year away from opening. Is there anything about this topic you can comment on at this time? Iʼd like to know in which schedule and timing you will announce details.
Question 7: Female gamers are growing in number year after year, but what is the proportion of female employees in your hardware and software development departments?
Question 8: You mentioned (in the presentation) that the Nintendo Switch Online subscriber base (excluding free trials) has exceeded 8 million accounts, which suggests the service has gotten off to a really good start. I assume the people who purchased Super Smash Bros. Ultimate subscribed to the service at once, but I am wondering how many signed up for 12-month memberships. Given the current content of the service and your pace of releasing a few major, first-party titles in a year, I imagine it might be hard to maintain a relationship with those members. The service is off to a great start, but what do you plan to offer to members going forward?
Question 9: On the other side of the globally expanding gaming population and the sudden rise of e-sports, video game addiction is currently under study by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan and it seems to become a social issue. What is your acknowledgment of video game addiction, and what measures are you considering to combat it?
Question 10: What are you hoping for going forward from the collaboration with LINE Corporation, beyond Dr. Mario World? By collaborating with LINE, are you signaling a particular interest in developing games for younger segments of the population, such as teens?
Question 11: In the presentation, you mentioned that Nintendo Switch is continuing to sell at a pace close to that of Wii, although there is a difference in launch timing. Wii was a huge hit with about 26 million units sold in its third year after launch, after which sales decreased. Will Nintendo Switch follow this same pattern?
Question 12: The “expanding” part of “expanding the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP” may be important, but looking at third-quarter software sales and the presence of two titles with sales of over 10 million units in a single quarter, it seems pursuing “depth” is also important. I think it is important to provide more software for consumers who have already purchased Nintendo Switch. I’d like to know your software lineup for next fiscal year and after, and if you’ve considered the possibility of increasing R&D spending to increase title count going forward.
Question 13: I’d like to hear about the future of your big hit titles released during October to December last year. The initial response was extremely strong, but will that be met with a drop in sales momentum? Or will the strength of that initial momentum on release help download sales and purchases based on word-of-mouth to grow, resulting in a net positive effect on future sales?