Wirtschaftsforum recently interviewed Dr. Bernd Fakesch, general manager at D-A-CH Nintendo (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), in which the “magic of Nintendo” was discussed, along with the creativity behind the company, the future of consoles and of course, the Switch.
In the insightful interview, Dr. Fakesch pointed to the 130 years of experience from Nintendo in creating toys, while also having established themselves as a long-term entity in the video game market.
Referring to the NES and Game Boy, he demonstrated that innovation was evident at Nintendo, even back then, before more contemporary popular consoles like the Switch or the Wii. He believes that after capturing the hearts of the consumer, years of experience simply led to the creation of fun gaming moments which were encapsulated into the software and hardware team’s DNA.
A Dot Matrix used to keep people as happy as a portable HD screen.
The player is always the primary focus for Nintendo, and development begins with a concept within gameplay, with the humble but clever goal of simply achieving a smile on the face of the player. The technical details follow, which then results in bringing the idea to life and the most fitting characters are selected for the game, resulting in a surprising and intriguing final product.
Dr. Fakesch explains that the Switch was developed in a similar ilk, which proves evident now that it has launched to positive reception across the world. Not a company to rest on their laurels, he also went on to say that as soon as a new console like the Switch is on the market, development of the successor is already in motion. He stated three evergreen Nintendo values; challenge, variation, and multiplayer. It is these three key company values that are the epicenter of those long periods of sumptuous enjoyment.
Swinging Bowser in a circle was revolutionary fun back in the 90’s when the N64 showcased Mario in 3D for the first time.
Upon reminiscing on the Game Boy Printer, the early online capabilities of the GameCube and learning software on the DS, Dr. Fakesch somewhat surprisingly said, “The sky is the limit if you consider the possibilities of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Let’s wait and see.”
Citing quickness and flexibility within the industry as key attributes, processes are sped up through relying on expertise and employees taking independent action. Dr. Fakesch puts this into practice at Nintendo Germany through co-operative leadership and a flat hierarchy inspired through his own book on leadership via employee participation.
“People only show motivation and initiative if the joy of succeeding is greater than the fear of failing,” he said as he explained that employees who are involved lead to more successful companies compared to those with a more rigid hierarchical structure. He also, however, expressed caution that this can only be implemented in a positive and trusting office climate.
“People only show motivation and initiative if the joy of succeeding is greater than the fear of failing”
Concluding the interview through discussion of his favourite games. The inspiring Dr. Fakesch is currently enjoying Mario Kart 8: Deluxe thanks to the enthralling multiplayer which welcomes varying abilities among friends and family, yet remains balanced and exciting for each player.
His family are enjoying ARMS at the moment and he finds the strategic thinking behind the selection of arms for your fighter along with quick reactions and precision the centerpiece of fun for the title. ARMS is a prime example that Dr. Fakesch feels is a standout example of how Nintendo can revolutionize and put a new spin on areas such as boxing.