Posted on July 06 2016 by Rod Lloyd
Last week, we reported on a quote attributed to Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima that came out of the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting. The quote at the time seemed to indicate that Nintendo is currently in talks with an external partner with which to produce films, but a full translation recently provided by Nintendo has since refuted such film plans. According to official statements made by Kimishima and Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo has no solid plans to make a feature film at this time, even though the company is currently considering ways to utilize its IP in video content.
During the Q&A portion of Nintendo’s 76th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Kimishima was asked about the company’s expanded use of its IP, particularly in film, and its take on Human Resources when it comes to such projects:
“First let’s talk about the video business. It’s less a venture into the movie business, and more a question of how we can utilize the Nintendo IP in video content as part of the broader effort to put our IP to practical use. If anyone wants to partner with us, we’ll hold discussions. The fact that there are many interested parties is something we’ve already mentioned. People are our most valuable management resource, and it is important to give employees opportunities to develop their skills and achieve personal growth. But when it comes to business in a completely new field, it is essential that we build relations with external partners.”
This statement clarifies the quote published last week. Instead of confirming that Nintendo is in fact working with an external partner to produce films, Kimishima was actually admitting that Nintendo is open to discussions with potential external partners that might be interested in such projects.
The remainder of Kimishima’s answer concerns Nintendo’s Human Resources strategy when it comes to expanded uses of its IP. Kimishima recognized that Nintendo would need to work with external partners for certain ventures in IP expansion, whilst also developing the skills of its employees.
Kimishima then handed the discussion over to senior managing director Shigeru Miyamoto:
“Video content is a really interesting area for us. Going forward, it is extremely important for Nintendo to move beyond the limits of game systems and make good use of its character resources in order for Nintendo not to be forgotten. Nintendo has a variety of characters. That one company has all the rights to so many characters is something that is recognized as unprecedented. To avoid any misunderstandings, we have never said that we will produce a movie. We have talked about our expansion into video and other areas, but we are not saying anything official about the details. What I can say is that video is one of the business areas where Nintendo is making good use of its IP. Three years ago I created an about 20-minute video content of Pikmin’s short movie, and just recently I made a 15-minute PR movie for Star Fox Zero. These were made in association with video production companies. We can make video content by mostly leveraging the knowledge and capabilities of outside companies. For the production of those two short films, I was basically the only person from Nintendo involved. Nintendo needs to make a lot more products, but when a company gets too big, it faces continual problems nurturing its employees.”
Miyamoto’s statement confirms that Nintendo has no announcements to offer on feature film production at this time. While the company may produce more short films and other such video content as they’ve done in the past, Nintendo has no official details to announce.
After confirming that Nintendo has no official plans for movies at this time, Miyamoto did discuss ventures currently in development for the company:
“Besides video content, we have begun to provide Nintendo characters for theme park attractions through a basic agreement with Universal Parks & Resorts. By working on development with others outside of Nintendo, I am working actively to expand the number of Nintendo products. These projects will take time to bear fruit, but they are something to look forward to.”
This statement appears to be where reports of theme park and “character goods” expansions were drawn from. So, even though Nintendo has dispelled any plans for films in the near future, there are at least some exciting things to look forward to.
Are you disappointed that Nintendo may not be working on films at this time? Are there any areas you’d like Nintendo expand into? Share your thoughts in the comments.