The 3DS Has Bombed So Badly, Nintendo's CEO Is Taking a 50% Pay Cut

July 29, 2011

Here in the United States, when a CEO royally screws up, he gives himself another few million dollars and resigns, then goes and finds another company to screw up. In Japan, however, when a CEO screws up, he publicly humiliates himself and takes a massive pay-cut. Don't mess with the Japanese, because they are hardcore.

The CEO in question is Satoru Iwata, long-time head of Nintendo. Until recently, Nintendo was pretty much dominating the video game scene by selling consoles to your mom and Nintendo DS handhelds to your little brother. Then they introduced the 3DS, and proved the hard way that even the best company is one crappy product away from a hard fall.

The 3DS has...not been doing well. Games are being canceled for it left and right. Nintendo was forced to cut the price by a third only five months after the system came out. The effect on the company has been so bad, the former president lost half a billion dollars of paper wealth. Yes, we said a half billion. Oh, and that was in one 24 hour period.

So, Iwata went before the board and said “Yeah, I'm losing half my salary.” He's not the only one going home with a lighter paycheck: other executives are suffering up to a 30% pay cut. So, take heart: if something goes wrong with gaming, at least one company actually gives a crap.

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images News