Nintendo has just had their most recent shareholders meeting. There wasn’t much in gaming news, and we still don’t know much about the NX. Nevertheless, fans would probably like to know what exactly this meeting was about. I’m here today to give you the details of this meeting.
First, most companies around the world have shareholders meetings annually. Corporations are owned by the shareholders, so while Kimishima is the boss of Nintendo, he has to ultimately answer to the shareholders. Shareholders leave the operation and oversight of the corporation to Board of Directors (Board), yet significant structural changes are the choice of the shareholders, not the board. That is ultimately what this meeting is about.
The following are the resolutions which the shareholders voted on. Note that all resolutions were passed. I will also explain what they are in layman’s terms.
- Distribution of Surplus – This means the annual dividend. For those that don’t know, a primary way the shareholders get a return on their money is through dividends, money Nintendo pays out from its annual profits. Approving a dividend is typical.
- Partial Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation – I discussed this in a previous article. Nintendo made changes to their Articles of Incorporation, most of it to prepare for new lines of business and another for structuring an audit committee.
- Election of Five Directors – This is typical. Since the Board carries out the wishes of the shareholders, they are approved every year. This year, the directors are Tatsumi Kimishima (the current president), Genyo Takeda (the Technology Fellow) Shigeru Miyamoto (Creative Fellow and famed creator of many of Nintendo’s famous characters), Shinya Takahashi and Shutaro Furukawa. Shuntaro Furukawa is a new directors. The numbers of directors are down from 10 at the previous shareholder meeting. Four of the ten directors are now only executive officer, Naoki Mizutani is now a member of the Audit and Supervisory Committee, and Satoru Iwata passed away. A listing of the directors and officers can be found here.
- Election of Four Directors Who Are Audit and Supervisory Committee Members – This is new this year because of the addition of the audit committee. These directors are separate from the five above. They are Naoki Noguchi, Naoki Mizutani, Yoshimi Mitamura,and Katsuhiro Umeyama
- Determination of Compensation Payable to Directors – This is for those directors in #3. The compensation includes a fixed compensation of up to 500 million yen (about 4.8 million dollars) and a performance-based compensation of up to 0.2 percent of consolidated operating income (so no, Miyamoto is not a starving artist).
- Determination of Compensation Payable to Directors Who Are Audit and Supervisory Committee Members – This is for those directors who are in #4. They receive a fixed compensation of up to 100 million yen (about 974 thousand dollars).
In addition to the resolutions, the shareholders asked questions of Nintendo’s Board. As of writing this, it has not been officially translated into English. Cheesemeister has done his own translation of the questions asked. You can find them all here. Here are the more interesting ones.
- Nintendo is still planning on releasing five smartphone games by March 2017.
- Nintendo’s change to the articles of incorporation were changed in anticipation of new businesses.
- Miyamoto notes that, typically, the NX would have been shown off at E3, but it was held off to avoid imitators.
- Nintendo is researching VR. Note that this doesn’t mean they will focus on VR.
- The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild has 100 people working on it, with 300 having worked on the game. It has been in development for over five years.
- In regards to a question about increasing [game] development cost and the length of development, Miyamoto notes they are doing a lot of things to reduce development time like reusing game engines. Takeda notes that they are “using increases in productivity to make an appeal with the greatness of games instead of hardware performance.”
That’s it for Nintendo’s annual shareholders meeting. As an aside, the first quarter ends June 30. Nintendo’s financials and the next presentation will be sometime in late July although a specific date has not been set. Nintendo announced their E3 plans during the last meeting, so the next one may have details about the NX. Stay tuned.