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Better Nintendo CEO?

Satoru Iwata 35 71.43%
 
Hiroshi Yamauchi 14 28.57%
 
Total:49

You can tell a lot about a leader too in how they deal with hard times; Iwata may have presided over the Wii U/3DS slump, but in his final days he organized what would go on to be an earth-shattering comeback, as well as taking a personal pay cut when profits slowed rather than lay off workers.

Yamauchi by contrast seemed to dig his heels in when the going got tough; he oversaw Nintendo's dominance in the NES era and the SNES's victory in the 4th gen, but Nintendo's decline from industry leader in the 3rd/4th gen to basically irrelevant in the 6th gen also happened on his watch, and it was Iwata who ultimately reversed this downward spiral.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series X will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

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PortisheadBiscuit said:
Without Yamauchi there is no Nintendo

Nintendo was around for a long time before Yamauchi. He also had a lot less to do with Nintendo’s early video game fortunes than Gunpei Yokoi.

It’s also no surprise that after the downfall of Yokoi that Nintendo seemed to hit a steep decline, but were propped up by Yokoi’s most successful product, the Gameboy, for years after his fall, resignation, and death.

Last edited by Jumpin - on 13 July 2020

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

Hiroshi Yamauchi. imo it’s not even close.



Yamauchi wins since he was the one appointing Iwata as his successor.



Jumpin said:
PortisheadBiscuit said:
Without Yamauchi there is no Nintendo

Nintendo was around for a long time before Yamauchi. He also had a lot less to do with Nintendo’s early video game fortunes than Gunpei Yokoi.

And who was it that discovered Gunpei Yokoi and let him tinker with electronics?

Without Yamauchi pulling him out of the maintenance department, Gunpei Yokoi would have spent his life fixing conveyor belts.



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Jumpin said:
PortisheadBiscuit said:
Without Yamauchi there is no Nintendo

Nintendo was around for a long time before Yamauchi. He also had a lot less to do with Nintendo’s early video game fortunes than Gunpei Yokoi.

It’s also no surprise that after the downfall of Yokoi that Nintendo seemed to hit a steep decline, but were propped up by Yokoi’s most successful product, the Gameboy, for years after his fall, resignation, and death.

It's not the CEO's job to be the direct head of R&D.  However, the CEO is responsible for hiring talented people and putting them in the right positions.  When you consider Yokoi, Miyamoto and eventually Iwata himself, Yamauchi had a gift for spotting talented individuals.

I actually voted for Iwata, but I also feel like you have to give Yamauchi his due.



NightlyPoe said:
DarthMetalliCube said:

Tough to say.. Yamauchi seemed to be the more conservative, no-nonsense leader that helped establish Nintendo as a dominant force and largely keep them on that path in a steady manner. Yet, Iwata had more of a free-and-loose and creative sense coming from the background as a game designer, contributing greatly to their renaissance with the Wii, DS, and the early phases of Switch too I believe. Ultimately I suppose Iwata would get a slight edge, as Yamauchi, while he was a prominent and level-headed CEO, was less flexible and able (or at least less willing) to adapt to changing markets and try new things. 

...

This is so backwards.  A conservative, risk-adverse, and inflexible Yamauchi would have kept Nintendo as a privately-owned playing card company.  Instead, Yamauchi took the company public to raise capital and tested several markets ranging from vacuum cleaners, to instant rice, to taxis, to hotel rooms you can rent by the hour, to, finally, toys.  The rest is history as Yamauchi discovered he had a hidden gem in his maintenance department in Gunpei Yokoi when he saw his "Ultra Hand" that he thought could be a successful toy.  After the Ultra Hand became a success, Gunpei was moved out of maintenance and dabbled in electronics, setting off the chain of events that led to Nintendo entering the electronic gaming market.

But it took a decade of burning through capital trying to find new markets for Nintendo to discover this new niche.  A niche that didn't even exist when they began looking for it in the early 1960s. The idea that Yamauchi wasn't willing to adapt or try new things is just a complete misreading of history.

Iwata took some chances, yes.  But adding motion controls to a console and slapping a 2nd screen on a GBA is hardly on the same level as building an electronics giant out of a playing card company.

Well of course, for his time Yamauchi was certainly a visionary and a pioneer. I suppose I should amend this statement in that I'm referring more to his final decade or so of his tenure as Nintendo CEO - which is what I'm far more familiar with. 

I also think Iwata's innovation and vision is being very understated. It wasn't just the added tech with him but also the philosophies behind it - gaming with more of a mass-market appeal, unique ideas, Blue Ocean, etc..



 

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Iwata. Like, please...



It was Britain, it is America, tomorrow France and next year, the world... 

Warning: This poster has a very negative opinion of Sony and Nintendo, Idea Factory and companies Tecmo Koei, EA, BioWare, Blizzard, Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Kadokawa and Sega. If you have very positive views of these and a negative view of Microsoft or Bethesda Game Studios, AVOID ENGAGEMENT AT ALL COSTS! 

    Nintendo created Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Metroid, Star Fox, Animal Crossing, Smash Bros., GoldenEye, Earthbound, Kirby, Killer Instinct, Banjo-Kazooie, under Yamauchi's watch. The Iwata era was no where close for software quality overall or innovation in actual new things that stand the test of time. The most significant new IP that was created under Iwata that continues to be big today is Splatoon.

    Even the DS having dual screens was Yamauchi's idea.

    The main mistake Yamauchi made was bungling the CD-ROM deal with Sony, otherwise he did most things correctly and even when Nintendo made a mistake (like censoring Mortal Kombat), they would react in a reasonable time frame to adjust -- Mortal Kombat 2 for example wasn't censored and was better than the Genesis version as a result. 

    90s Nintendo was the best version of Nintendo, they had a Game of the Year contender basically every year for the decade (1990 - Mario 3, 1991 - Mario World 1992 - Zelda: LttP, 1993 - Star Fox, 1994 - Super Metroid or DKC, 1995 - Yoshi's Island and DKC2, 1996 - Super Mario 64, 1997 - GoldenEye, 1998 - Zelda: OoT, 1999 - Pokemon craze, 2000 - Zelda: Majora's Mask ... after 2000 this began to wane). Nintendo doesn't do this anymore. 

    And Nintendo was trying a lot of wild stuff, the NES (Famicom) in Japan had online functionality in the 1980s, lol. Very wild. Nintendo is no where near as bold today. 

    Nintendo never posted a fiscal loss in the game business under Yamauchi, under Iwata they lost money for like 2-3 years straight. 

    Last edited by Soundwave - on 13 July 2020

    NightlyPoe said:
    Jumpin said:

    Nintendo was around for a long time before Yamauchi. He also had a lot less to do with Nintendo’s early video game fortunes than Gunpei Yokoi.

    And who was it that discovered Gunpei Yokoi and let him tinker with electronics?

    Without Yamauchi pulling him out of the maintenance department, Gunpei Yokoi would have spent his life fixing conveyor belts.

    That is in no way justification for giving Yamauchi all the credit of Gunpei Yokoi.

    Literally anyone with half a brain would have given Yokoi a promotion, but only Yokoi could offer the philosophical and creative genius that shaped Nintendo into what it was and what it has become decades after his death. No one else had that unless they were themselves shaped/influenced by Yokoi or Yokoi's disciples.



    I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.