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Nintendo Enters Mobile Gaming Alliance with DeNA

Nintendo characters will officially be making a leap to smartphones and tablets after a business and capital alliance was struck with Japanese mobile games company DeNA Co., Ltd.

We received an email from Nintendo PR this morning announcing the exciting news that it will be employing DeNA’s world-class expertise in mobile games to develop Nintendo’s globally recognised intellectual properties and beloved characters such as Super Mario for new app games for smart devices and together they plan to build a multi-device membership service.

Nintendo also confirms that the games they intend to make with DeNA will be brand new and not ports of existing games, which in part shoots down a rumour that they might be working on mini-games based on its current library of Wii U and 3DS titles. The fact that these games were suggested to be free and now Nintendo seeks to monetise a premium membership service also denounces the mini-game speculation. The new games will however be accessible through not only smart gadgets (we’re predicting iOS and Android) but also Nintendo’s existing gaming systems which recently introduced the New Nintendo 3DS models.

The press statement says that the apps developed through a ‘long-term relationship’ between Nintendo and DeNA (pronounced “DNA”) will extend the company’s reach in the smart device market – an area which previously it had avoided like the plague and with every mention that Nintendo intended to make games for mobile was met by a counter statement by the highest authorities including Satoru Iwata, the company’s worldwide President.

Also See: Nintendo NOT Making Mini-Games for Mobile Devices

Mr Iwata himself addressed the ‘unexpected’ alliance and the losses suffered by Nintendo recently as smartphones were on the rise:

“[I]n recent years, with the spread of smart devices, we have increasingly heard a variety of opinions on the future of the dedicated video game system business, and in particular relatively pessimistic ones. We lost the balance of revenue and expenses as the era of the super strong yen occurred during the transition periods from Nintendo DS to Nintendo 3DS and from Wii to Wii U, and we were not able to make these platform transitions as smoothly as we had expected. I understand that this situation has motivated people to suggest that dedicated video game systems too may be consumed by smart devices since the latter has already been said to have consumed a variety of dedicated devices such as digital music players, digital cameras and car navigation systems.”

“However, there is an obvious difference between Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems and other dedicated devices, which are said to have been displaced by smart devices: Nintendo is the biggest game software provider for its dedicated video game hardware. Even though “who is providing applicable content” must be a very important factor, the pessimistic view on dedicated game systems neglects to acknowledge this difference.”

Further into the statement he goes onto say that Nintendo as a company does not share that pessimistic view and basically says that based on the fact that it’s the popular IP that keeps fans coming back for more they have now decided to utilise smart devices “aggressively”.

It’s an interesting read and you’ll see Iwata do a full turn on his opinion of smart technology, not dwelling on a humbling backpedal, but presenting a credible plan of action. For those who want to check it out in full it’s available on the Nintendo corporate site.

The capital alliance between Nintendo Co., Ltd. and DeNA Co., Ltd. will become finalised on April the 2nd and the first results of the partnership are expected to appear towards the end of 2015.