Mario Kart 8 Saved Iwata at Nintendo?
Mario Kart 8 has now pushed passed the 2 million units sold mark. The first weekend sales topped 1.2 million, which means the title has sold more then 800,000 units in June; for Nintendo and their small Wii U install base, this is good news. Mario Kart is a pinnacle franchise for the company, and like Super Smash Bros later this year, it needed to be a huge success.
We have argued extensively over the last few months about whether or not a single game can save a console. The conversation mostly surrounded Mario Kart, and what affect it would have on the market. We concluded that a single game does NOT save a console; rather, consoles are saved – or lost – on a series of quality titles hitting the market. I would argue, however, that a single title saved Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata’s, job.
At a recent board meeting – which Iwata was not present at for health reasons – the board decided to retain Iwata, Mario legend Shigero Miyamoto, and a number of other board members following a better, albeit still disappointing year for Nintendo. How long Iwata will stay at the helm of Nintendo is yet to be seen, especially in light of his recent medical concerns. However, it appears as if Nintendo is willing to give him more time to turn Nintendo around.