Nintendo Investor Briefing: October 2018 Q&A now available in English
Last week, on Thursday, 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 the following posts:
- Nintendo Switch sales, encouraging long-term play, more
- Nintendo Switch evergreen titles, Mario Tennis Aces
- Nintendo Switch Online, digital sales
- Nintendo Switch and third-party publishers
- Nintendo Switch outlook for holiday season and beyond
- Nintendo 3DS outlook (and NES / SNES Classic)
- Mobile games (Dragalia Lost, Fire Emblem Heroes, AC Pocket Camp, more)
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!).
Here’s the questions answered during the Nintendo Investor Briefing Q&A session:
Question 1: What is your strategy for Nintendo Switch this holiday season? Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!,Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be releasing soon. It is necessary to sell to those who did not buy Nintendo Switch despite a strong software lineup last year. With what kind of user base do you envision popularizing Nintendo Switch? And could you talk about the current user demographics for Nintendo Switch and how you see the user base expanding? How do you evaluate a status on pre-orders that have started for Pokémon: Let’sGo, Pikachu!, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?
Question 2: Multiple titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that were released before or during the last fiscal year have sold over 1 million units in the first half of this fiscal year alone. What factors do you find contribute to such strong sales for titles released before or during the last fiscal year? Also, some companies keep their unit sales up by lowering the price of older software titles. What is your pricing strategy?
Question 3: Is there any possibility you would make Nintendo titles like Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros. available to cross-platform or cross-device play like Fortnite Battle Royale has done?
Question 4: Could you tell us about your unique management strategy as President? For example, should we expect you to announce any medium-term business plans, or to provide any shareholder returns including a stock split? Should we expect you to spend money in new ways, for instance, by setting up a venture fund?
Question 5: I wanted to confirm your sales strategy for Nintendo Switch, including the strategy for the next fiscal year. No major titles were released between January and September of this year, and while I understand you are concentrating the release of major titles between October and December, I wonder if this was the correct strategy for the period you need to grow the audience for Nintendo Switch. Can we expect the same business strategy of concentrating major title releases in October through December next fiscal year, or do you intend to adjust your strategy to keep sales momentum up?
Question 6: What is your approach for Nintendo Switch sales going forward? The system attach rate for software to this point has been extremely high, especially in North America, which clearly attests to the power of Nintendo IP. Based on the sales trends so far, how do you intend to convey the appeal of Nintendo Switch going forward?
Question 8: Do you have plans to expand into the Chinese market with Nintendo Switch or smart-device applications?
Question 9: You explained during the presentation that over half of all people who purchased subscriptions to the Nintendo Switch Online service opted for a 12-month Family or Individual Membership. Could you give us more details about things like the number of subscribers at launch, or region and age range information about these subscribers?
Question 10: What has been the response from users to Fortnite Battle Royale and other cloud-based games offered by other software publishers for Nintendo Switch? Also, do you expect this will have any implication on business in the future?
Question 11: I’d like to ask about collaborations within your smart-device business. You developed Dragalia Lost in collaboration with Cygames, and I understand that especially in the US, it is being played mainly by Nintendo fans, which I would say underscores the powerful draw of the Nintendo brand. Have other companies approached Nintendo about collaborating in the future? What do you think about collaborations in general? I also want to ask about the impression that Nintendo is behind on releasing new applications. Can you give us a current update on development?
Question 12: We know that Nintendo Labo is a strategic product designed with the Nintendo Switch platform cycle in mind, meant to appeal to demographics that are not interested in franchise (popular series) game titles. Given that objective, do you intend to focus on expanding Nintendo Labo sales next year and onward, or do you think you would continue to propose new kinds of projects?
Question 13: A lot of people seem to feel like there are major titles from other publishers that are missing on Nintendo Switch. Are you currently doing anything to address that? Also, do you think the situation will change in the next fiscal year or later?
Question 14: Sales of Nintendo 3DS hardware and software are both trending downward from the same period last fiscal year. You mentioned that this system has coexisted with Nintendo Switch,but I’m curious what you think about the future of the handheld video game platform business?
Question 15: I see that 3-month Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions are being offered in Nintendo Switch bundles that come with software (in some regions). Is this something you plan to do ongoing?
Question 16: You’ve talked before that you aim at increasing business profitability and prolonging the life cycle of the console, but looking back now that the first half of this fiscal year was over, what is your appraisal of the Nintendo Switch business, including the online business?