In an interview with Time, the President and CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, released a significant amount of details about Nintendo’s plans for creating mobile games. After years of staunch resistance to gaming on smartphones and tablets, Nintendo has finally partnered with mobile gaming company DeNA to create classic Nintendo games for mobile devices.
One of the biggest worries was that the games would simply be ports from Nintendo’s gaming consoles. But Iwata alleviated this fear by saying that all of the games would be recreated for smartphones and tablets with new controls, graphics and gameplay styles designed to take advantage of the hardware that’s available. This was Nintendo’s largest factor in hesitating to enter mobile gaming, but the company thinks that it’s finally solved the issue.
Nintendo hasn’t confirmed a strategy for payment of the mobile games. While the company is used to having customers pay for games up front, it will look into the free-to-start model as well as other models to see which works best. The games should be great, however, as Nintendo is developing them jointly with DeNA rather than simply licensing them to the company. Nintendo will cover more of the games themselves, while DeNA will work on the service side of things, allowing the partnership to work to both company’s strengths.
Iwata confirmed that while Nintendo still believes in the value and importance of creating its own software and hardware, it now recognizes the importance of the smartphone market. Rather than creating games that are designed as a gateway to Nintendo’s hardware, Nintendo will seek to create games that are specifically designed for smartphones, in order to grow that into a separate branch of its business. It seems to be relying on the idea that serious gamers will still purchase Nintendo hardware to do most handheld gaming on.
All in all, it looks as though Nintendo has a solid plan for bringing its games to mobile. The company looks to be taking a very cautious approach, so as to not devalue any of the games within the Nintendo IP library. It may take some time, but we expect to see some incredible Nintendo games coming to smartphones that are ultimately designed to be just as high quality as games on Nintendo’s own hardware.