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Nintendo boss earns $770,000 basic salary

By David Jenkins

Tue 29 Jun 2010 11:09am GMT / 7:09am EDT / 4:09am PDT

Japanese executives reveal pay as Sony and Sega Sammy bosses lead the pack

Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata has been revealed to earn a basic salary of just 68 million ($0.77m), rising to 187 million ($2.11m) with performance-based bonuses.

The figure stands in stark contrast to that of Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer who is revealed to earn a total of 816.5 million ($9.20m).

The salary revelations came as a result of new legislation in Japan, which requires companies to reveal the salaries of any board member earning over 100 million ($1.13m).

According to website andriasang the salaries of other Nintendo board members were not stated individually, although a group of six - including legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto - were revealed as earning 100 million ($1.13m) in total.

Miyamoto has always claimed that his basic pay is in line with other less well known producers at Nintendo, after repeatedly refusing a more exorbitant salary.

By comparison other videogame executives who reported their salaries include Sega Sammy Holdings CEO Osamu Satomi on 435 million ($4.90m), Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada on 240 million ($2.70m), and Namco Bandai Holdings president Kazunori Ueno on 137 million ($1.54m).

By comparison Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is believed to have earned $3.15 million in 2009, according to Forbes. Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello easily outstripped him though on $9.85 million, according to the same source.

Robbie Bach, current president (until his planned retirement this autumn) of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices division, which includes the Xbox brand, earned $6.21 million in 2009.

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Phil Shaw Studying Games art and design, Norwich University College of the Arts

6 0 0.0
Well the Sony CEO is doing well, this relates to my previous about comment about piracy. Games aren't movies and cannot be treated as such, reception is different an therefore revenue is considerably different. With Sony paying one person as much as they are is it any wonder they charge 44.99 for new releases? I know a large percentage is divided out to the developers but are they really so naive to think that with games costing so much, (not just because of this guys salary I'll point out) people aren't coerced into piracy?

Just a thought?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Phil Shaw on 29th June 2010 1:45pm

Posted:6 years ago


Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
Sony covers a lot of different products, Nintendo only do games, how can you compare them fairly?

Posted:6 years ago

Sony sells not only games but a variety of technology products.
I don't think there is a connection between game pricing and manager salaries. And one should note that managers are the ones who have to make very important decisions - they should be payed well. Some soccer stars earn more.
High prices may be a reason for piracy, but they aren't an authorization for doing it. Piracy emerges when there are possibilities for doing it - not when prices are too high - even 1$ iphone games get pirated. IMHO new monetization methods are the key against piracy - I think subscription based payments, micropayments etc. in combination with fast availability (via app stores) will do it. But as i said this is really offtopic ^^...

(edit: 2nd comment came while writing ;))

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Christian Kulenkampff on 29th June 2010 2:38pm

Posted:6 years ago


Phil Shaw Studying Games art and design, Norwich University College of the Arts

6 0 0.0
Yes I agree Christian, I have (for the purposes of speed on my iPhone) generalised what the CEO does for his money and I know that there is more to it than this comment could ever facet. I don't think high prices authorise anyone to pirate either, as you said it offers a convenient 'reason' and excuse.

My point lays in the fact that (with regard to piracy not salaries) instead of spending even more money on aggressively policing piracy the industry needs to re-evaluate and develop more reasons why people 'shouldn't' pirate instead of giving them reasons 'to' pirate.

(phewww, off topic I know but explains my rationale)

Posted:6 years ago

Well i think all companies have realized this - more than other entertainment industry branches. This is why EA buyed playfish and produced BF:Heroes, Square Enix produces stuff for the iDevices, Nintendo improves the possibilities for DLC etc.
As I said people will pirate when they can - this is the reason you have to fight. IMO especially online play is a good way to prevent piracy. On the other hand if there is no possibility for piracy, nobody can hide behind piracy when the game isn't sold ;-).

Posted:6 years ago


Art C. Jones Writer / Blogger

70 124 1.8
Sony does make a lot of products, but Nintendo has a much higher Net Profit, not just higher Net Profit than the games division of Sony, but all of Sony. In fact, Nintendo was beating out Toyota as the top Net Profit earning company in Japan recently. Certainly, most company CEOs of the most profitable company in the country could be expected to earn more than Iwata. It's clear that the Nintendo culture is different with the key players like Miyamoto focusing on other rewards than just financial (which interestingly enough are likely to be more rewarding once compensation reaches a certain level). Nintendo execs seem to LOVE what they are doing, and it shows in everything they do.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Art C. Jones on 29th June 2010 5:17pm

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,522 3,225 1.3
Unlike any other large company on Earth that I'm aware of.

More incredible still is they have the largest profit per employee ratio of any large company ever (for companies over 500 employees). Somewhere over $1 million in profit per employee.

It's all in the mindset...from the top all the way down.

Posted:6 years ago


Doug Abramson Programmer (C/C++/Embedded Linux)

16 0 0.0
so how much does miyamoto earn?? without him, nintendo in its present day form doesn't exist. he invented almost all of the awesome games for the system and without mario zelda donkey kong and so on, nintendo is dead because there are no good third party games on the system since the super nes (n64 started the mass exodus of publishers)

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,522 3,225 1.3
Aliraza, gaming as we know would not exist if it were not for him...not Just Nintendo.

From my understanding, his salary is equal to whatever they pay mid level designers/programmers. He lives in a very modest apartment and rides his bike to work everyday. Refuses to accept higher wages.

Posted:6 years ago


Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer

259 12 0.0
I have new found respect for Miyamoto refusing to feed himself into the corporate greed kind of culture for more money. Maybe he is still an artist inside and thus able to continue to produce interesting titles and concepts. And I think this is very important for the gaming industry.

Posted:6 years ago


Doug Paras

117 61 0.5
People forget Nintendo makes hardware, Games, Movies, Anime, Card games and plenty of other things.

Posted:6 years ago


Shane Sweeney Academic

505 603 1.2
Russell Carroll: Nintendo wasnt earning more profit then Toyota and other tech industries its shares were valued as higher - for less than a week.

Perceived value of shares and the success and/or profitability of a company arent the same thing. Share Values are based on trends - sell the rumour buy the fact.

Posted:6 years ago


Sergio Santos Freelance 3D Artist

12 0 0.0
Aren't they aware that with those salaries they could do several games and earn more money?
or pay more to the people who actually do the job and keep them happier?

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,522 3,225 1.3
Sergio, Nintendo just bought a 40,000 sq meter (400,000 sq feet) plot of land in Kyoto to house their new R&D facility. It will be several floors tall meaning total floor space could easily be a few million square feet. Much bigger than even a large shopping mall.

That's several times larger than their current R&D facility half a mile away. To fill it to capacity means they must have plans to hire more people and expand their product portfolio.

Posted:6 years ago


Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College

264 22 0.1
I'm not so sure that the first sentence of the article needs the word 'just' in :)

Posted:6 years ago


Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
But Doug Nintendo don't make, mp3 players, DVD players, TV's, laptop computers, blu ray players, ebook readers (debatable on DS), digital cameras, digital slr cameras, camcorders, home cinema systems, HiFi systems, car radios, digital picture frames, headsets, printers etc. the list goes on.

Posted:6 years ago


Junior Enwright Writer - novelist, game narrative, article writer

34 1 0.0
Even if Nintendo's CEO earns less, the compnay make large amounts of money, and pump thsi money into developing new things, rather than being greedy, and makig it all about the money. Its more about the product and the service they provide.

Posted:6 years ago


Jason Young

7 0 0.0
Jimmy, Kotaku is reporting that Miyamoto made about $678,000 in base salary plus $722,00 in bonuses. I'm guessing the mid level designers/programmers aren't making that much.

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,522 3,225 1.3
Jason, that's a contradiction to the article above. Individual salaries for the 6 board members were not revealed. Yet their combined total was $1.13 million. At $678k, he'd have over half of the total among all 6 combined. It's been long noted that he refuses executive salary pay which suggests he should have a salary that is lower than the average of the other 5 men on the board....not significantly more.

Posted:6 years ago


Jason Young

7 0 0.0
Jimmy, the article I mentioned is here and includes the clarification, "...the six Representative Directors at Nintendo (Miyamoto included) received a million dollars. The original wording was somewhat unclear as to whether that was for all of them or each. According to Nintendo, it was each." So either Kotaku is wrong or the article above is wrong when it comes to the total compensation number. I would like to know which it is.

Posted:6 years ago


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