Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Takes Hefty 50 Percent Pay Cut on Wii U Failure

Nintendo got a head start over Microsoft and Sony in the next generation console wars by launching its Wii U system well ahead of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but being first out of the gate doesn't necessarily guarantee victory. Quite the opposite in this case, as sales of the Wii U have been so bad that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is slashing his pay in half from February to June.

He's not alone in seeing his income reduced. The other 9 members of Nintendo's board will take pay cuts of at least 20 percent as a result of falling profits, the Financial Times reports. Such is the fallout from Nintendo's net income dropping by a almost a third in the nine-month period ended in December, which also included the holiday shopping season.

Super Mario

Due to its markdown in the U.S. and Europe, Nintendo said the Wii U had a negative impact on its profits. On top of it all, related software sales didn't grow enough to offset the disappointing console sales.

Nintendo is on pace to sell 2.8 million Wii U consoles in its current fiscal year, way short of its previous forecast of 9 million units. In the nine-month period so far, Nintendo has only sold 2.41 million Wii U units, or 3 million less than what it sold in the same period a year ago.

One way Nintendo could turn things around is by licensing characters like Mario and Pikachu to other developers, though the company has been adamantly opposed to such a move.