Ex-boss reveals how Nintendo struggled to survive after the biggest flop

Former Nintendo COO and US boss Reggie Fils-Aime

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The games industry is the big winner of the corona pandemic: Sony is barely keeping up with the production of its Playstation 5, Microsoft recently reported 18 million members of its Game Pass subscription service and Nintendo is raising its forecasts for its current financial year for the second time: on Monday the Japanese announced that they expected an annual profit of 400 billion yen (3.1 billion euros) – 55 percent more than in the previous fiscal year.

The reason for the enormous growth: The Switch game console, which has many fans, especially during the Corona lockdown, and has been sold over 80 million times since it was launched in 2017. The former Nintendo US boss and COO Reggie Fils-Aime revealed at the New York Gaming Awards a few days ago that the success of the Switch was vital for Nintendo.

Switch was an “all or nothing” product for Nintendo

Aime, who worked at Nintendo from 2006 to 2019 and is currently on the board of Gamestop, chatted openly about the failure of the previous Switch console, the Wii U: “People quickly forget that the Wii U’s performance was very poor over its entire lifecycle – I mean, it was the worst-selling platform. The Wii U has underperformed radically in the market. And since the company’s only business area is video games, the next project had to be successful. “

Nintendo did not even sell 14 million units of the Wii U in 5 years, the Japanese suffered billions in losses. So the pressure was all the greater to be successful with the next console – otherwise the entire company could have got into serious trouble: “I was involved in a lot of things at Nintendo, but the Switch was really an all-or-nothing product for them Company – and luckily it was a hit, ”Aime revealed. As early as 2019, he described the Wii U as a “mistake on the way forward”, as the Wii U flop led to the development of the successful Switch console.


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