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Nintendo slashes top bosses' pay amid dismal sales

Nintendo console sales are so dismal that a number of executives volunteered to take a temporary pay cut.

Starting next month, the company's president, senior managing director, managing director, and a handful of others will take a five-month salary cut "to take responsibility for the poor performance," the Associated Press reported.

President Satoru Iwata's salary will be halved, while two representative directors—included game creator Shigeru Miyamoto—are taking a 30 per cent cut, according to the AP. The remaining seven board members will each drop 20 per cent of their pay.

Meager Wii U, 3DS, and software sales in the nine months ending 31 December knocked the Japanese company's profit down 30 per cent. Nintendo today reported a 10.2 billion yen profit—down from 14.55 billion yen a year earlier.

Despite strong 3DS console sales in the Japanese market and the title of best-selling platform in the US, the handheld device and its accompanying software reached only 11.65 million units and 57.25 million units, respectively.

Still, it fared better than the struggling Wii U, which sold more than one million copies of launch titles like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker HD, Wii Party U, and Super Mario 3D world. But that wasn't enough to boost the Wii U business as a whole. Global hardware and software sales barely scraped 2.41 million and 15.96 million units, respectively.

"In the fourth quarter, we expect sales to decrease significantly due to seasonal factors as the year-end sales season concludes," the company said in its earnings report. Various quarterly expenses, plus the rising yen, are also forecast to lead to the deterioration of Nintendo's once-revered name.

Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company has been struggling all year, bouncing back only slightly from 2012's first-ever loss. In April, Nintendo announced an executive shuffle that placed Iwata into the role of Nintendo of America CEO.

Earlier this month, the game maker admitted that its Wii U has been a failure—so much so that Nintendo slashed its hardware and software forecasts by 50 to 70 per cent.

And still, the company continues to push against the rising tide of smartphones and tablets. This week, Nintendo again denied plans to offer mini-games on mobile devices.