Nintendo is selling the Seattle Mariners. Yup, you read that right.
In the 90s, then-president of Nintendo Hiroshi Yamauchi bought a majority stake in the American baseball team.
Yesterday the Seattle Mariners announced that Nintendo of America plans to sell its 55% majority stake to other shareholders.
Yamauchi passed away in 2013, and today the company has decided to offload the stake he purchased.
Nintendo issued a statement on the decision to sell the stake (via Kotaku):
“As many of you know, Nintendo of America Inc., which is headquartered in the Seattle area, was approached by local representatives in the early 1990s and invited to invest in the team, which was at risk of being moved away from the region.
“The late Hiroshi Yamauchi, at that time the president of Nintendo Co., Ltd., agreed to spend his own money to purchase the majority ownership of the team in order to show Nintendo’s appreciation to the U.S. for helping Nintendo do business in the country, and to contribute to the local residents and area. He became the principal owner of the team in 1992.
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“Mr. Yamauchi passed away in 2013. Due consideration had been made before his death and his ownership had already been transferred to Nintendo of America in order to ensure the team would remain in the area.
“Then Mr. Satoru Iwata, who had been overseeing the team as the new president of Nintendo after Mr. Yamauchi, as well serving as the CEO of Nintendo of America, passed away last year. This sad occurrence, along with Mr. Lincoln’s desire to relinquish day-to-day leadership for the team, prompted this decision.”
Nintendo yesterday announced that its next console, the Nintendo NX, will be launching in March 2017.
The announcement surprised many who expected the console to arrive this holiday season, but the company has decided to launch next year, with The Legend of Zelda arriving on both the Wii U and NX.
Nintendo is also expected to have a quiet E3 2016, with only one game, Zelda, playable on the show floor.
Did you have any idea that Nintendo owned a baseball team? What do you think about the Nintendo NX news? Let us know in the comments below.