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The Price of Childhood: How Disney’s Acquisition of Nintendo Made Me Feel

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After news broke that Disney had acquired much of 21st Century Fox, investors, analysts and media pundits spent weeks debating the implications. Had Disney bitten off more than it could chew? Would the added stress cause the Mouse House to divest other assets in its crosshairs, such as Netflix or ESPN? The deal also raised broader questions about the state of Big Media. Are we witnessing a massive reorganization of its powers-that-be — with streaming services as ascendant kings and queens — or just another passing fad? With every day that passed, another headline left me feeling even more conflicted: we’re living in an era in which bringing big brands under one roof is seen as an unassailable good. In theory, this should be a win for consumers; after all, competition breeds innovation and increased competition almost always results in lower prices. In practice, however… well… you know those pesky

My feelings about Disney buying Nintendo and why.

If you’ve read the rest of this article, you’ll know that Disney buying Nintendo is a bad idea. It doesn’t make sense given the businesses’ natural synergies, targets or brands. It doesn’t make sense given the state of the industry. It doesn’t make sense given Disney’s own recent history. Unfortunately, we live in a society where big is seen as good. And Disney is a big company. If you look at the company’s recent acquisitions — Fox’s Marvel, Fox’s Star Wars and Pixar — it becomes clear that a major goal is to acquire as many brands as possible. Letting the other guy win seems to be a thing of the past.

nintendo net worth 2018

For a company that has been around for over 100 years, Nintendo has done remarkably well to keep up with the times and remain relevant. However, it’s now been over 30 years since the company was really relevant in the United States. (Nintendo’s “modern” era effectively starts with the NES in 1985.) Since then, the video games industry has mostly been without Nintendo, which has been content to remain in its home country. What’s changed is that the world has become a very different place. While Nintendo has kept its fingers in many pots — theme parks, mobile, etc. — it has always been at arm’s length from other major brands. In this way, it is perhaps the biggest irony that the company’s net worth — including the acquisition of its assets by Disney — will be somewhere in the ballpark of $50 billion.

nintendo corporation net worth

The Nintendo brand is worth $50 billion. Nintendo the corporation (which actually owns Nintendo, among other smaller companies) is worth $23 billion. Imagine if Disney had acquired the Nintendo brand, but left the corporation to operate as it sees fit. The brand would be worth $50 billion, while the corporation would be worth $23 billion. Think of all the things that Disney could do with the extra $27 billion. It could be used to build parks in places that don’t have them, ensuring that every child has the chance to visit. It could be used to fund more research into improving quality of life and coming up with new ways to treat disease, extending life and enriching the lives of all humans. This $27 billion of extra cash could be used to create new films, TV and online programming. More funding could be used to help independent filmmakers, creatives and journalists find the support and resources they need to produce new work.

nintendo vs disney net worth

Of course, this is not what happened. Instead, Disney acquired the Nintendo brand for $50 billion and the corporation for $23 billion. This means that the Nintendo corporation’s brand — the valuable asset that is making all the money and creating all the “product,” if you will — is worth just $23 billion. The Nintendo brand is worth $50 billion. When you put these figures in context, it becomes even more clear that Disney will be buying a massive headache with this acquisition.

Conclusion

When looking at the Disney acquisition of the Nintendo brand, it’s important to remember that brands are not the same thing as the assets creating the products. When you buy the Nintendo brand, you’re not buying the people that created the products, the IP they’re using or the processes they use to create the products. In fact, you’re buying nothing more than a name, logo and some vague cultural references. This is why brand acquisitions seem so easy. The “price” of these brands is so incredibly low that it’s scary. You’re basically buying an idea for a few thousand dollars on average. This is great for Disney. It gets a powerful brand that it can use to expand into other areas, making it a lot easier to attract creatives and investors. However, it also means that Disney is potentially taking on a ton of headaches for very little reward.

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