Please, For The Love of God, Stop Saying Nintendo is Doomed

By Keza MacDonald on at

It's Nintendo financial results day! Which of course means that, as happens several times a year, armchair Internet pundits are once again forecasting the inevitable and swift demise of the most enduringly, consistently successful and profitable company in the history of video games. It has no basis in fact.

Having written about how Nintendo is not in fact doomed by any stretch of the imagination about 47 times over the past 10 years, this now makes me so frustrated that Nintendo Results Day puts me in a furious mood by default. My colleagues have dug special fox-holes and have been hiding in them all day. So, instead of expounding at length the exact same facts and arguments as in 2012, 2013, 2014 and so on for years, allow me to briefly summarise:

  • As of this morning's statement, Nintendo has about $5bn in cash in the bank. That's not even counting property and its many other assets and bonds, which altogether total over $10bn
  • At this rate, Nintendo could lose hundreds of millions every quarter for years and still be fine for a long time
  • It's not actually losing money at the moment, though - Amiibo, the currency markets, and various other things have kept it in a healthy profit for the majority of the past several years despite the Wii U's very weak sales
  • Nintendo makes vastly more money from selling its own games and on its own hardware than it would from "going third-party", as people have been bafflingly demanding since the days of the Gamecube - as a result it would never make sense for Nintendo to do so
  • People who say Nintendo should give up on its core business - console manufacture - and place its games on other systems are fundamentally misunderstanding Japanese business culture. Nintendo might make more money that way (unlikely, but possible), but it would not be building a platform for its future
  • Nintendo has lost money in - I think - about 11 quarters, ever, in its 100-year plus history, which hardly classifies it as a company in dire straits
  • Nintendo has sold hundreds of millions of games and consoles in the past decade, which although not in any way a guarantor of future success flies right in the face of the "Nintendo's been in terminal decline for ages" nonsense that seems to follow every single Nintendo financial report
  • Nintendo is selling far less than its competitors right now. That does not necessarily mean that it is a failing company. Nintendo has always been careful to keep its profit margins on hardware high, which means it has made money from even modest sales of its less successful consoles, the GameCube included.

So, please, stop saying Nintendo is doomed. PLEASE STOP before I fling myself out of a window. Complain about its games if you like, get upset about the Zelda delay, remark how the company has been in need of modernising for a while and would do well to fully embrace YouTube, the Internet and everything else that comprises current gaming culture, but PLEASE STOP saying it's about to go bust. It's not.

Thank you.