2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami

The 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami was an earthquake in Japan that occurred on March 11, 2011.

Nintendo and the video game industry

Shortly after the devastating earthquake occurred, Nintendo announced to their fans that all of their employees remained unharmed. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami didn't hit Kyoto, where Nintendo's main headquarters is located, but did have an effect on Tokyo where Nintendo EAD Tokyo among other Nintendo subsidiaries are stationed. Several days after the earthquake Nintendo and other video game companies donated millions of dollars of yen to relief efforts. A partial listing of video game companies involved is below:

  • Nintendo - Donated 300 million yen.
  • Sega - Donated 200 million yen.
  • Konami - Donated 100 million yen.
  • Namco Bandai - Donated 100 million yen.
  • Tecmo Koei - Donated 10 million yen to the Japanese Red Cross.

Tatsuro Iwamoto, Phoenix Wright illustrator, drew a piece of artwork that features the main characters of the Phoenix Wright games urging people to "work hard" and "not be defeated" by the earthquake.

For a couple of days some Pokémon fansites reported rumors that series creator Satoshi Tajiri had died in the earthquake, though this was quickly proven false.

Howard Lincoln

Howard Lincoln, once a major employee of Nintendo of America and now a manager at the Seattle Mariners (a Nintendo owned baseball team) said the following after the earthquake:

"The Mariners would like to join with people from around the world in extending our sympathy to the many families affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami centered in Sendai. The Mariners and the city of Seattle have a long and close relationship with the people of Japan. Particularly close to all of us here at the Mariners are the many Nintendo employees and their families in Kyoto, Tokyo and other parts of Japan and the many, many Mariners fans all across the country. Our thoughts and best wishes are with the families as they face this great challenge."


After the earthquake, many developers posted messages on Twitter. The following are a few of the "tweets".

Author Known for Message
Hideo Kojima Metal Gear "I'm alright."
Masahiro Sakurai Kirby, Super Smash Bros., Kid Icarus: Uprising Message unknown. Posted image after earthquake from Nintendo's Tokyo office.
Nintendo of America Nintendo's American subsidiary. "Thanks for your concern! During the earthquake no one at Nintendo HQ in Japan was injured and there was no apparent structural damage."
Suda 51 No More Heroes "I’m unharmed. Thx."
"Alll of our staff evacuated safely. We want to send our support to all effected in this tragedy"

Delayed games and cancelled events

Due to the earthquake in Japan, Nintendo delayed Steel Diver on the Nintendo 3DS, a prominent launch window video game. Konami, meanwhile, delayed Powerful Golf on the Nintendo DS.

Following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, several gaming related events were cancelled. Capcom, for example, cancelled five of their Monster Hunter Festa events including the ones in Nagoya, Tokyo, Sendai, Sapporo, and Osaka. Series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto had the following to say:

"I received a great shock from the news of the earthquake. I offer my condolences to the many victims. While I also experienced the earthquake from Tokyo, I know that there is greater damage in Tohoku and Kanto. After an internal discussion, out of concern for everyone's safety, we've decided to cancel the Monster Hunter Festa event, which was scheduled to be held in six locations throughout the nation. For all hunters who were affected by the earthquake, I hope that we can work together to overcome this difficult time. I pray for the safety of all hunters nationwide."
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