Mario goes mobile: Nintendo to rethink its strategy

For years the video game powerhouse refrained from bringing classic Nintendo games to mobile platforms, but has now bowed to the pressure

As the gaming market becomes increasingly focussed on mobile technology, Nintendo has had little choice but to embrace it. The brand has teamed up with DeNA to develop games for mobile app platforms

Last year’s disappointing sales have prompted Kyoto-based Nintendo to revaluate its current strategy. In January, the forecasted group operating profit for FY 2014 was downgraded by half of its previous estimate to $165m. Nintendo has long refused to go mobile, fearing the volatile pricing for content aimed at tablets and smartphones. Yet the consumer electronics company can no longer turn its back on the growing mobile app trend, which has been named as the biggest market in the gaming world for 2015 by Newzoo’s Quarterly Global Games Market Update.

The consumer electronics company can no longer turn its back on the growing mobile
app trend

Nintendo has teamed up with Tokyo mobile app developers, DeNA, to develop and operate games for its new platforms. In order to ensure the quality gaming experience that Nintendo is known for, original games will be designed specifically for mobile app platforms, rather than converting existing games. Yet, Nintendo fans will find familiar faces in the newly created settings, with popular gaming icons featuring throughout the new series.

During a press conference on March 17, it was announced that the games are still in early development stages, with some due to be released later on this year; although no indications have been given in regards to which titles will feature in Nintendo’s portfolio.

A joint statement made by the two firms reads, “The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems business and extend Nintendo’s reach into the vast market of smart device users worldwide. Under the alliance, DeNA will also be able to strengthen its gaming business at a global scale by leveraging Nintendo’s IP.”

As part of the new partnership between the two companies, a capital alliance has also been formed. According to the press release, Nintendo will acquire 10 percent of DeNA’s total outstanding stock for approximately 22bn yen. DeNA will spend the equivalent amount, which buys around 1.24 percent of Nintendo shares.