A few days ago, it was announced that due to dismal sales of the Wii U Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata would take a 50% pay cut. It is not exactly news here or anywhere that the Wii U is not a good seller. Poor advertising and a lack of third-party support add together and create a recipe for poor sales. Adding salt in the wound, even downloadable content is being pulled off the shelves. At this point in time, is it time to start looking at better alternatives for the gaming giant, and would it be time to maybe even look at calling quits for Satoru Iwata? Or better yet, is Iwata himself not the entire problem? Looking back, Iwata helmed the company since 2002. He's ushered in many a generation; the Gamecube, the Wii, the DS era, and the Wii U. Lately though, Nintendo has been losing money and reporting losses over the past several years. It was mentioned from Iwata himself that an endeavor like the Gamecube flopped because of a lack of good software to drive the console. Yet, at this point, it appears to be more of the same. The 3DS, which is a wonderful system on its own, received a rather poor support platform in the West, especially considering the online infrastructure and SpotPass/Streetpass. These features may work well in other nations, but for us here in the West, we can barely scrounge hits on our consoles, making this feature rather dull. Others may disagree with me, but it really depends on location, location, location. Comparing a quote he gave several years back, and looking at the slump that Nintendo has been enduring the past several years, it feels like he has learned nothing. The very issue he spoke about is the same thing that is plaguing his company. A lack of software titles is hurting not only the investors, but the consumers as well, who are looking more to the smartphones and other consoles. As of a few days ago, a new statement was released, citing that Nintendo may be open to start working with smartphones. Do not get me wrong, I love myself some Nintendo products, and while I hope that they will come out with some revolutionary product, the way things are heading, I just do not see what they can do to turn it around. Their archaic ways of thinking, such as not utilizing the online infrastructure, irks me. At this point, the internet is so crucial to our everyday lives it is almost an essential. Sticking only to local play is holding them back. Their recent games are uninspiring and lackadaisical. Most titles, while great as standalone titles, are rather banal in comparison to earlier titles that the giant used to produce. At this point, I would like to think that new leadership is needed. I feel that Iwata's great firework has long since died. He seems like a wonderful fellow, do not get me wrong. I admire the fact that he seems rather interested still, and is willing to step up and take responsibility, but the fact that these issues are occurring repeatedly is too much of a problem to simply ignore at this point. His ability to market is rather weak, and I do believe that at this point, Nintendo will need a fresh set of eyes to guide them forward in an era of superior technology. Do I believe that Iwata himself should be completely removed from the company? No. I think that Iwata should be moved into an area where he can actually make a positive contribution, something like development. His Nintendo Directs and interviews (Iwata Asks) shows initiative to work with developers and interest in the wants of his fans. Looking forward, should the blame be entirely pinned on Iwata himself though? Iwata should not be held solely responsible. His major weakness is a lack of understanding in his market and it is hitting both his investors and his pocketbook. But who is to blame in such an instance? A little side story, I had this interesting theory all cooked up to talk about, yet a quick Google search yielded that someone had thought up a similar, if not identical theory, and only several days ago. Definitely put a bit of a dampener in the plans, but for the sake of everyone, and due to its relevance I think I should put it here. What would happen if I had decided to pin the blame not on Iwata, but on Shigeru Miyamoto himself? Targeting Miyamoto? Okay, now you guys are probably going to either stop here and declare me legally insane. I do not blame you guys at all. To question Miyamoto is definitely interesting; he being a veteran developer, having ushered in some of the most profitable franchises in the history of modern video gaming, being a factor in the recent tumbles that Nintendo has suffered? The way I look at it, it is because of his legendary franchises that Nintendo is suffering. As far as the article I just linked, I basically agree with almost all the details presented. The legendary franchises (Zelda, Mario) are all the brainchild of Miyamoto. It could be indirectly said that Nintendo's successes are due to Miyamoto's ideas. When we look at games that drove home the Wii, we see games like Wii Sports. We see games like Tetris. Or Donkey Kong. We see games that are inconceivably popular that drive home sales. When we compare the sales of Wii U and 3DS to that of the DS and Wii, we see an explosive difference. Looking around in 2013, we do not see any new IP's coming out of Nintendo. We see the story of Nintendo developers using Miyamoto's baseline work and marking new games in his legendary franchises. There are more inundations of Mario, more inundations of the same old concept redone in a slightly shinier packing. At this point it is like polishing garbage. It might smell less stinky, but it is still the same thing at the end of the day. We as gamers do not see these developers taking off their training wheels and moving on their own, creating their own new franchises. When I look at this, I go back to the Eurogamer article and I agree very much with this criticism that they have made: Nintendo is definitely in a figurative hole and they need to get themselves out and fast. I look at this title and see it as a perfect example of developmental crisis that is happening: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Warriors. You have a franchise, The Legend of Zelda, one of the biggest franchises around, and you combine it with a game that has plenty of iterations over the past decade, Dynasty Warriors. The title, while I love both franchises, seems so unoriginal, and very unlike what Nintendo used to do. By chaining themselves and slaving away to the masterpieces that Miyamoto has ushered in, for Nintendo, creative development has essentially stopped. To end all of this, reviewing this giant text block that I have typed out, we look at Iwata, and his decisions over the past several years. Are the results finally justifiable for investors to scream for his head? Is it okay to look at Shigeru Miyamoto himself as a possible factor in the recent mess that Nintendo has found themselves in? Is it the fact that Nintendo is not embracing the online culture? Has the creativity from Nintendo been stopped? Seriously though, Nintendo, we all love you, but we want to see you kicking ass and taking names, not getting your ass kicked and having your name be trashed. Let's discuss the finer points of Nintendo here!