Archive for the ‘Mr. Iwata’ Category

Dear Mr. Iwata, Please fix this Nintendo of America problem…

September 6, 2013

Coffee Beans
There are some people in the video game industry that like to place all the blame for Nintendo’s current financial and Wii U situation on Mr. Iwata, the current CEO of Nintendo Company and now CEO of Nintendo of America as well. Some of those people deny that employees and management in other regions for Nintendo, like at Nintendo of America for example, might actually be part of Nintendo’s overall problem as well though.

There is currently one Nintendo problem though, directly related to Nintendo of America’s region, that I don’t think Mr. Iwata made and might not even be aware that the problem exists. At least, I don’t think he would have made this decision, based on one of his own more recent comments. It is a problem that Mr. Iwata now as CEO of Nintendo of America can hopefully address and get fixed though, for consumers and Nintendo investors.

What problem do I think Mr. Iwata as CEO of Nintendo of America should fix? Brew yourself some coffee, and keep reading to see!

The Brew
Dear Mr. Iwata,

When Nintendo launched the Wii U this past holiday season, it was first available in the United States. I was the first person to pre-order the Wii U at my local GameStop the day they opened up pre-orders on the system, and I have enjoyed my Wii U system and the games I have played on it so far.

What I don’t understand though is why Nintendo of America has made the decision to not have the Wii U console available for consumers to buy DIRECTLY at its MSRP from Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer.

If more and more U.S. consumers are doing holiday shopping online and shopping online in general, I think that Nintendo of America would have wanted the Wii U to be available DIRECTLY from the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com, during its first holiday season. Unfortunately though, it appears that an employee at Nintendo of America kept that from happening.

Amazon’s website for the United Kingdom sold the Wii U consoles DIRECTLY at launch, and still does. Amazon’s website for Japan sold the Wii U consoles DIRECTLY to consumers at launch, and still does. Amazon’s website for France sold Wii U consoles DIRECTLY to consumers at launch, and still does. Even Amazon’s website for Canada sold Wii U consoles DIRECTLY to consumers at launch, and still does.

A picture says a thousand words? Sometimes, this one is an example
of the current Wii U Amazon. situation though.

Amazon.com was the only major online retailer in the United States of America to not offer pre-orders or online purchasing of the Nintendo Wii U system this last holiday season. Still as of today (09/06/2013), Amazon in the United States does not DIRECTLY carry and sell the Nintendo Wii U to consumers at its MSRP. The Wii U system is only available from third-party vendors on Amazon in the U.S.A.

Even the new The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Deluxe Wii U Console Set is not available for pre-order or being sold directly from Amazon.com in the U.S., but Amazon in Canada is now taking pre-orders on it.

Nintendo of America has now missed out on almost a complete year of Wii U sales and advertising on Amazon.com. Giving up basically an entire year+ of sales on the world’s largest online retailer in Nintendo’s most important home console region, before the other consoles have even launched this holiday season, doesn’t make common sense to me, much less business sense to me.

It isn’t just the Nintendo Wii U Amazon.com doesn’t carry and sell directly though, as the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo Wii systems have not been carried and sold at their MSRPs directly by Amazon.com in the U.S.A. for almost the last 2 years. I doubt right now that even the new Nintendo 2DS will be carried and sold by Amazon.com when it releases next month. This also extends beyond just Nintendo’s consoles though, as Amazon.com does not even directly carry and sell the Nintendo eShop and/or Nintendo DSi/Wii Shop cards to consumers. What does this mean?

Sony has their PlayStation Network Cards and Microsoft has their Xbox LIVE  digital cards being sold on Amazon.com, and those digital cards from Sony and Microsoft have remained in the “Top 100” section of the “Best Sellers in Video Games” for more than a year now in most cases, helping both companies to sell digital content from their online stores. Nintendo hasn’t been doing that, for AT LEAST the last 2 years. Nintendo has apparently given up selling Wii U/3DS and Wii and DSi eShop cards to consumers on Amazon.com, and has therefore given up many digital sales that would translate from those cards being sold online.

Digital cards from Microsoft and Sony sold directly by Amazon.com ,
but not Nintendo eShop cards. Why?

Instead of grandparents, parents, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles, cousins, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, etc., having the opportunity to buy Nintendo eShop cards as birthday gifts and holiday gifts for the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS owners, Nintendo doesn’t give them a good option for that on Amazon.com. Instead of consumers being able to go to Amazon.com, finding a Nintendo eShop card at MSRP on somebody’s Wish List and buying it for them as a gift, Nintendo has completely given up that side of potential digital retail sales to its competitors, and that is very odd to me.

I think that Nintendo has seen how important digital sales can be, and how profitable they are as well. Which is probably why Nintendo is now doing many more Nintendo Wii U eShop promotions, such as the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD early Wii U eShop download starting on September 20th.

So, why wouldn’t Nintendo of America and Nintendo in general have the Nintendo eShop cards on the world’s largest online retailer for consumers to buy? I think just as importantly though, if not more so, is if Mr. Iwata does not want to publish Nintendo developed games on the other consoles offered by Microsoft and Sony, then Mr. Iwata should make sure to keep Nintendo’s own consoles in front of as many consumers as possible.

Again, why would Nintendo of America, or even Nintendo in general, not want to have the world’s largest online retailer selling Nintendo systems directly to consumers at their MSRPs? It doesn’t make any sense to me, especially if we are concerned about the long-term future and profits of Nintendo overall.

Which the last point is why don’t I believe that you, Mr. Iwata, made the decision to cut ties with Amazon.com and not sell Nintendo systems in the U.S.A. directly from the world’s largest online retailer to consumers at the MSRPs, in what has been Nintendo’s strongest market for home consoles in recent years.

Mr. Iwata, you recently told ComputerAndVideoGames in an interview that you didn’t want to concentrate just on Nintendo’s short-term profits, but instead you are responsible for the long-term future of Nintendo as well. I would agree, and that’s why I’m writing this directly to you.

If cutting ties with Amazon.com and not selling Nintendo consoles and eShop cards was a decision for the immediate short-term finances, it MIGHT make some sense, depending on the reason(s) behind the decision. But, if you are the Nintendo employee that has decided to not actively sell Nintendo eShop cards on Amazon’s sites around the world though, can you please explain that decision?

Does not having all current Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards sold directly to consumers at MSRPs by the world’s largest online retailer make sense for the long-term future and profits of Nintendo? I don’t think so, unless you think that Amazon.com isn’t going to be around in 5-10 years, or that fewer consumers will be spending money on online purchases.

Whichever employee at Nintendo decided to cut ties with Amazon.com and not have Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS systems, and even the Nintendo eShop cards as well, sold directly from Amazon.com at their MSRPs, I think has done more financial harm than good for the company.

It makes no sense to me, with more and more consumers making purchases online, to have your most important region in recent years for home console sales, the United States, not offering the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems (and Nintendo eShop cards) directly from the world’s largest online retailer at their MSRPs.

The current President of Nintendo of America, Mr. Fils-Aime, is aware of the Amazon.com situation, though he did not provide any details as to why the United States of America is the only country where Amazon’s website does not directly sell Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards at MSRPs to consumers, when he was asked about it last year.

If you, Mr. Iwata, were the one that made the decision to cut ties with Amazon.com before the Wii U launched and apparently shortly after the Nintendo 3DS launched, can you please explain to investors why you think this is a smart decision for the long-term future and profits of Nintendo? If you weren’t the Nintendo employee that made this decision, can you please let investors know which employee made this decision and have them explain why it was made?

If you didn’t make this decision and are going to try and fix it now that you are aware of it, contacting Amazon.com’s CEO directly, Mr. Bezos, might be the best solution to finding out what exactly happened and why.

Mr. Iwata if you can fix the current Amazon.com situation in the United States and get Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards on the site, I’m guessing there would be thousands of consumers (if not millions) to add them to their Amazon.com Wish Lists and/or purchase them this holiday season as gifts. Maybe you can even take it a step further, and allow developers to sell eShop codes for their games directly on Amazon.com, like what Nintendo has done for some Wii Virtual Console games in the past.

So, in short:
Dear Mr. Iwata,

Please fix this Nintendo of America problem with Amazon.com and get Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards sold directly from the site at MSRPs, for consumers and Nintendo investors.

Sincerely,
Scott Mullins

Caffeinated Thoughts
I don’t understand why Nintendo of America has apparently chosen to burn its console bridge with Amazon.com, especially considering they had a new console release last year. While Microsoft and Sony both have been using Amazon.com to promote pre-orders for their new consoles and games releasing this holiday season, and their digitial promotion cards remain in the “Top 100”, it seems like Nintendo of America is happy with consumers having fewer places to buy and see their products.

So, Nintendo of America had the worst Wii U launch ads, had the horribly run Best Buy E3 Wii U events speaking from experience, and doesn’t have Nintendo systems and Nintendo eShop cards being sold at MSRPs directly by the world’s largest online retailer?

Why? Maybe they need more coffee at Nintendo of America? Maybe they need to hire more staff? Maybe the staff needs to work less, and perhaps could use some vacation time? Whatever the case is, something seems off at Nintendo of America to me, and I’m not sure how aware of the situation Mr. Iwata is, being that he just became CEO of Nintendo of America this year.

Hopefully though, this issue will be fixed before this holiday season, and hopefully before the Wii U price drop later this month. If this is an issue you would like to see Mr. Iwata and/or management at Nintendo of America address, feel free to tweet this post to @Nintendo and @NintendoAmerica.

Questions
Do you think Mr. Iwata was the Nintendo employee that made this decision regarding the relationship between Nintendo of America and Amazon.com, or do you think it was another employee at Nintendo?

If you enjoy shopping online, as I do, do you think Nintendo of America should fix the problem with Amazon.com before this holiday season, or at the very least explain to consumers and Nintendo investors why Amazon.com is the only Amazon site (that I’m aware of) to not directly carry and sell Nintendo systems at MSRPs to consumers, only having third party vendors that do it?


Links to some Nintendo items sold on Amazon.com, but not DIRECTLY BY Amazon.com:


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