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Nintendo's Iwata doesn't fear failure

Nintendo's president wants the company to keep taking risks and innovating

In a talk at the B Dash Camp startup conference in Osaka, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that the company does not fear failure. Iwata characterized Nintendo as a company that innovates and takes risks.

"When we talk about Nintendo we cannot ignore [former president] Hiroshi Yamauchi who just recently passed away," said Iwata, according to translations by The Bridge. "He always said that if you have failure, you don't need to be too concerned. You always have good things and bad, and this reflects the history of Nintendo. If you do the same thing as others, it will wear you out. Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market."

Iwata explained that Nintendo has always gone against the grain, highlighting some of the company's past successes.

"It's often called the 'Blue Ocean Strategy', looking for something that no one else is working on," he said. "When we created the DS, people said it was strange to have a dual display, and people said elderly people don't play games. But they did. Opening the first door is when things are most interesting."

"Will America accept cute monsters? No, they said. Some people even recommended to make Pikachu more muscular. If we followed their advice Pokemon would never have been the success that it was. Brain Training software (Brain Age) became a hit in Japan, and I proposed that we sell it globally. And even as I said that as the president, no one listened."

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Mike Williams avatar

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.