Nintendo to Release 'Approximately 5' Smartphone Titles by March 2017
posted on by Kiara Valdez
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced at Nintendo's financial results briefing on Saturday that the company plans to release approximately five smartphone games by the end of March 2017. Nintendo plans to release its first game app before the end of the 2015 calendar year.
You may think it is a small number, 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.
Iwata also explained that it has made "several organizational and personnel changes" to the company so that Nintendo can "properly operate the smart device business."
The Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported on Saturday that Iwata has chosen the Mario Kart series producer to be in charge of the smartphone project for Nintendo. The Sankei Shimbun did not provide a specific name.
In a March press conference, Iwata announced the company's capital and business alliance with mobile game developer DeNA. As part of the alliance, Nintendo will lend its IP to DeNA in order to create new smartphone games, as opposed to ports of Wii U or Nintendo 3DS games. Nintendo's goal by allowing the use of its IP is to create games that consumers can enjoy. Iwata added that no IP is off limits from this collaboration, so any IP might be used to produce a smartphone game. He also noted that as opposed to a game that is a finished product, smartphone games need constant service, hence combined effort will be necessary to operate them.
DeNA and Nintendo are also currently developing a new membership service that can be used with the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, the newly-announced system NX, smartphones, PC, and tablets. The membership service is scheduled to begin this fall. With this new service, customers will be able to access multiple devices using one common ID. Iwata noted, "With this new membership, we are planning to deploy services that will make playing Nintendo games with their game pals more fun regardless of which platform they are accessing."
Nintendo announced on Thursday its first operating income profit since 2011, and its first net income profit since 2013.