When Nintendo announced in March that it had partnered with DeNA to bring games to mobile devices featuring its characters and other IP, gamers were understandably skeptical about what the end result would be. While we can’t say anything for certain until we actually see some of those games, it seems that Nintendo is taking this new strategy very seriously.
In a briefing today following up on yesterday’s report on the company’s earnings in 2014, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that the company plans to release five smartphone games by 2017. As was previously hinted at, the first of these games will be coming later this year.
“You may think it is a small number,” Iwata said, “but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business.”
As the company has already said, it won’t be porting existing titles to phones, but will instead focus on games that better fit smartphones as a platform.
“Even with highly popular IP, the odds of success are quite low if consumers cannot appreciate the quality of a game,” Iwata said. “Also, if we were simply to port software that already has a track record on a dedicated game system, it would not match the play styles of smart devices, and the appropriate business models are different between the two, so we would not anticipate a great result”
Iwata also reiterated that Nintendo and DeNA would be creating an “integrated membership service” that is meant to establish “a bridge between smart devices and dedicated game systems.” Devices that will utilize this service include smartphones, PCs, the Nintendo 3DS, and the upcoming NX console.
Near the end of the briefing, Iwata also touched on yesterday’s announcement that Nintendo and Universal have reached a “basic agreement” to deploy Nintendo rides and attractions at Universal theme parks.
And yesterday also saw other good news for Nintendo: The firm posted its first annual profit in four years.