Furukawa: “Developers… Can Do As Freely As They Want”

The final part of our translation of the Nikkei interview with Nintendo Co., Ltd. President Shuntaro Furukawa, talks about Esports, not interfering with development, Japan’s declining population, and more. Thanks to BlackKite for the translation. Please credit Japanese Nintendo and link to this post if using any part of this translation elsewhere. Check out part one here and part two here.

Nikkei: Esports – which have huge money prizes a selling point – are becoming a hot topic. Nintendo is also working on it, but with no prize money there’s an impression that you’ve come late in riding this new tide.

Furukawa: Esports is where players compete on stages while revolving around prize money, and spectators enjoy watching that. It launches one of the amazing appeals of video games. But there is no sense of antagonism. In order to make our company’s games be played by a broad range of people, regardless of experience, gender, or generation, we also want to make our events joinable by a broad range of people. Being able to have a different world view from other companies – without a large sum of prize money – is our strength.

Nikkei: If developers don’t do their best from hereafter, Nintendo can’t keep up its appeal. How are you approaching this?

Furukawa: The developers are doing their best with a greed of ‘shouldn’t we be able to make users enjoy them with this way?’ It’s the most important for me to manage the company while properly maintaining an environment where they can do as freely as they want.

Nikkei: So, you’re intentionally not interfering.

Furukawa: Of course I don’t when it comes to the contents. In the creation process, there would be no added value if I – who doesn’t come from the development division – were to interfere. I leave them to the professionals of that subject.

Nikkei: Nintendo is being said in overseas as a representative of Japanese companies that have produced innovations. How are you looking at Japan with its declining population?

Furukawa: The importance of the Japanese market does not change. But as a low birth rate is progressing with an aging population, it’s important to create products to be received by a broad range of generations. If we have that, no matter how the Japanese market changes, it should be accepted by a lot of people.

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