Nintendo embraces inevitable future, agrees to mobile game creation deal

19 Mar 2015

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata speaks at the 2011 Games Developers Conference. Image via Mark Rabo/Flickr

Facing a bleaker future in the console market, Nintendo is finally caving in to the inevitable after signing a deal with mobile gaming producer DeNA to licence its games on smartphones.

The deal formed part of a capital alliance that saw the two companies purchase stock almost of equivalent size in each other’s businesses in what Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata has said will be a part of the company’s policy of ‘aggressively’ pushing its smartphone products.

According to Wired, the two companies announced their plans at a joint press conference (video), but did not go into details regarding what familiar Nintendo names will be making their appearance on the billions of phones across the world.

No doubt, however, the video-game character Mario will be a certainty for release but Iwata stressed that the games that will be released will not result from simply porting over existing games, but will be built from the ground up.

“We have no intention at all to port existing game titles for dedicated game platforms to smart devices because if we cannot provide our consumers with the best possible play experiences, it would just ruin the value of Nintendo’s IP,” Iwata said.

This does not appear to be the end of Nintendo’s part in the development of future consoles. Iwata went on to say he can confirm the existence of a new console, simply dubbed the ‘NX’ project, whose details are to be revealed next year.

Those attending the press conference may have been quick to remember Iwata’s stance just two years ago, when he pooh-poohed the idea Nintendo would even consider creating smartphone games. Money talks, though, and Nintendo’s accountants have been growing wary of the company’s ability to make money off its own hardware.

It now remains to be seen what financial model Nintendo and DeNS will take, as either a paid-for game, or a freemium game that will allow for in-app purchases.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic