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Nintendo creates new position to oversee expanding online strategy
Nintendo creates new position to oversee expanding online strategy
June 28, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Nintendo of America has hired Disney Interactive veteran Duncan Orrell-Jones for its newly created SVP of network business position, which oversees the company's expanding online strategy for its 3DS and Wii U consoles.

The company has long suffered criticism for falling behind its competitors when it comes to implementing online services, but Nintendo is making efforts to place more emphasis on online features in its latest consoles.

Those efforts include adding the ability for 3DS owners to buy retail games through the 3DS's eShop store, making social interactions a key feature for its upcoming Wii U console, and now the creation of a new position to manage these initiatives.

Reporting to Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime, Orrell-Jones will be tasked with spearheading the development and overseeing the evolution of the platform holder's digital strategies.

Orrell-Jones previously worked at the Walt Disney Company for nearly 20 years, most recently serving as the SVP for the Disney Interactive Media Group that managed the company's PC, console, mobile, social, and web games.

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Merc Hoffner
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I really hope this is a signal that Nintendo plans to scale out.

Nintendo's greatest strength, like Valve and like Pixar, is that their teams are brilliant and driven to make interesting products. But it's also the source of their greatest weakness: expansion!

The teams appear to be so finely tuned that it's very difficult to bring in new employees and grow teams, both for bigger scale projects, and for more projects overall. Couple this with supporting not one or two, but potentially three or four platforms more or less single handedly, and with rapidly scaling dev costs, and the need for rapid turnaround on regularly beloved franchises as well as innovative new titles, and hardware development, and all their extra-curiccular activites, and the capacity demands on just 5000 employees are ridiculous.

That's right, 5000 employees. In 2008 they were ranked the most profitable company per employee of any multinational in the world! But they're stuck at this capacity! As is Valve (Ep. 3?)

If they can successfully grow, sprouting new teams reared by the old ones, and cultivate new employees with the wisdom of masters, and generate new types of divisions imbued with the spirit of their meat and potatoes businesses then not only could they better sate the 'insatiable' masses, but they could widen their scope beyond gaming as their main business. A Nintendo phone? Maybe, maybe not. Nintendo goggles? Now we're getting there. A Nintendo Theme Park? I'm sold, my kids are sold, and my kids' kids are sold.