Shuntaro Furukawa was appointed the new president of Nintendo Co., which handed the reins to a relatively young and unknown senior executive post to reporting that the profit is on track to reach the highest since the year 2010.
He would replace the former banker, Tatsumi Kimishima who last year oversaw the debut of the new console, the biggest bet in years of the Kyoto-based company. For the fiscal year through the next March, Nintendo forecast gain of 225 billion yen (2.1 billion dollars). While that will be the most in eight years, it was below the analysts’ average estimate for 308.6 billion yen. Nintendo conventionally posts conservative guidance, and this is no exception.
Furukawa joined Nintendo in the year 1994, worked in global marketing, serving on the board of partly owned Pokemon Co. He takes over as the strong results and outlook underscore the confidence of Nintendo that it has worked out the Switch’s initial year production kinks and could attract purchasers from beyond the core base of the hybrid console. While the company last year had a strong lineup of games to drive the hardware sales, it has only one new big-name title, Super Smash Bros. that is scheduled for release in the current year.
An analyst at Jefferies Group, Atul Goyal said, “Furukawa comes across as thoughtful, very knowledgeable and quite well informed.” Further, he said, “He is fluent in English. He may be the perfect person to fill the communication gap that exists between Nintendo and investors.”
Furukawa, a graduate of Waseda University, worked for around 10 years in Germany. While he spent much of his tenure at the accounting office of the company, rising to head Nintendo’s corporate planning division in the year 2015, Furukawa has even contributed to software development and was involved in the making of the Switch. Furukawa told at a news conference in Osaka, “We will develop the company to its fullest.” He further added, “I will balance Nintendo’s traditions: originality and flexibility.”
The numerous blockbuster hits of last year include games such as Super Mario, Zelda, Splatoon 2, and Mario Kart. That increases the stakes for products such as the Nintendo Labo, which the company sees as a core to broadening the Switch’s appeal beyond the initial adopters. So far, the analyst reception to the Labo has been mixed. The company in the month of February said that the racing game Mario Kart Tour would be released during the coming fiscal year, without specifying a date.
The founder of Tokyo-based games consultancy Kantan Games Inc., Serkan Toto said, “No other console in recent history offered such an array of blockbusters in the first 12 months after launch.” He further added, “But the Switch absolutely needs more mega-hit games in 2018.”
Some other key figures disclosed by Nintendo say- the operating profit was 21.1 billion yen in the latest quarter, as compared with the analysts’ average projection for 20.2 billion yen. Nintendo predict 20 million Switch shipments for the year, up from 15.1 million shipments in the period before. The Switch software titles totaled 63.5 million in the latest year, exceeding the forecast of the company for 53 million. Nintendo has expectations to sell 100 million in the coming year.