The new VP for "Network Business" will oversee Nintendo's upcoming digital initiatives.
Nintendo is finally getting into the digital marketplace in a big way. With promises of free access to the Nintendo Network and rumors of incentives for digital publishers, Nintendo clearly wants to leave its own mark on the digital landscape. Despite these efforts, the initiative remains a risky move with no guarantees, especially considering that this would mark the first time Nintendo has stepped outside its traditional retail model. To assist these efforts, Nintendo announced the creation of a new "senior vice president of Network Business" position and hired former Disney Interactive VP Duncan Orrell-Jones to fill it.
"Effective July 1," Nintendo stated, "Duncan Orrell-Jones will take on the newly created position and spearhead the development and evolution of Nintendo of America's digital strategy for the company's Nintendo 3DS and Wii U video game systems. Orrell-Jones will work at Nintendo's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., and report to Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime."
Orrell-Jones has been a senior VP with Disney Interactive Media Group for an impressive 19 years, where "he was responsible for identifying opportunities to expand Disney's games business outside North America across a variety of platforms." Before that, he served as general manager for the organization's Tokyo office, where he led a 140-person team on supporting various digital properties on multiple platforms.
Orrell-Jones's background makes him a perfect choice for Nintendo as it enters unfamiliar digital territory. Nintendo is clearly taking big steps in catching up to Microsoft and Sony, but we'll have to wait until the release of the Wii U to see how it all plays out.
Sources: Joystiq, Games Industry International