Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata Speaks Against Laying Off Employees

Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata says that it’s possible for a company to maintain profitability without laying off workers, as game development studios often do after the completion of their projects.

The Nintendo boss said that he believes his company can be profitable through old fashioned efficiency and cost-saving measures without hurting the livelihoods of any of its people.

“It is true that our business has its ups and downs every few years, and of course, our ideal situation is to make a profit even in the low periods, return these profits to investors and maintain a high share price,” Iwata said during a recent shareholder meeting. His answer was a response to a question about whether Nintendo would consider “corporate restructuring” (e.g. laying people off) as a solution to its financial issues.

“If we reduce the number of employees for better short-term financial results, employee morale will decrease, and I sincerely doubt employees who fear that they may be laid off will be able to develop software titles that could impress people around the world,” said Iwata, who also noted that global exchange rates have had a major influence on the company’s situation.

“Employees make valuable contributions in their respective fields, so I believe that laying off a group of employees will not help to strengthen Nintendo’s business in the long run,” he said. “Our current policy is to achieve favorable results by continuously cutting unnecessary expenses and increasing business efficiency.”

Source: Nintendo via Joystiq

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3 Comments on Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata Speaks Against Laying Off Employees


On July 8, 2013 at 9:11 am

a person with common sense in this business… let’s hope his way works out well and other companies pick it up.

people, who’re afraid to lose their job at any given time, won’t take risks. without risks we get more of the same until the consumer is fed up with it. and once that happens (probly happening right now) the devs no longer know how to create new IPs (or are still to afraid to think outside of the box)


On July 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

@ Kakyo01

I agree with you. Unfortunately the only way to support developers to “think outside the box” is to stop supporting their current projects by not buying their games. It seems that either everybody wins or nobody wins.


On July 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Japanese companies are VERY wary of laying off workers. Part of their culture. I worked for a pretty large Japanese corporation, and they only laid off employees once every other avenue had been exhausted.