The translation of Nintendo’s recent Q&A meeting with shareholders has been published and shows the official translation of comments from company president Shuntaro Furukawa and representative director and fellow Shigeru Miyamoto on the appointment of Chris Meledandri as an ‘non-executive outside director’ of the company, news which broke back in May this year.
As explained by Furukawa, Meledandri is the founder of Illumination Entertainment, the outfit responsible for the Despicable me series and partner with Nintendo on the upcoming Super Mario movie project.
In keeping with the tone of the Q&A session, Furukawa’s comments were pretty boilerplate (you can read them in the translation itself), but Shigeru Miyamoto opened up a little more (emphasis on the little) about the effect the board hopes Meledandri’s input will have on upcoming ‘video content’ and related projects. He also spoke about how the idea of expanding Mario into the movies came after experiments with mobile games showed the potential for reaching an audience that Nintendo’s game systems couldn’t:
Although this has no direct tie with his appointment as a director, I’ve been working with Chris for over five years now on the Super Mario movie. Through that relationship I think he really came to understand the Nintendo point of view. I don’t think it’s easy for those overseas involved in media creation to understand Nintendo’s way of thinking, but Chris truly comprehends why Nintendo creates characters and visual content.
We are working on mobile and visual content in order to expand our integrated hardware-software entertainment business globally. Working on mobile content reminded us again that while the Nintendo game systems may have reached some parts of the world, there are many places where they are not widespread. We started the mobile business because we felt it very important to conduct activities that encourage people to understand the Nintendo brand and come to like Nintendo. That resulted in also realizing the importance of visual content. By possessing video content and not just games, Nintendo will be able to expand its content further throughout the world and become stronger as a company. The fact that we are a video game developing company tends to create the mistaken impression that we can also create movies easily. It’s true that the processes of making visual content and developing games share some of the same ways of thinking, but there are also differences. The movie business, including distribution, is in a period of transformation. Against this backdrop, we think that asking for Chris’s input, as an expert with many years of experience in Hollywood, will be of great help to us in the future.
The Super Mario is movie is still in production with release scheduled for 2022, and Nintendo has stated in the past how it is looking into animations for it’s other characters beyond Mario and his posse. It seems there are big multi-media plans afoot for the company’s stable of stars, including — possibly — a Donkey Kong project. Fingers crossed we’ll find out more soon.
Elsewhere in the Q&A Miyamoto discussed his obsession with Pokémon GO and the respondees on the Nintendo board revealed their favourite games.