When Nintendo first revealed the Wii U console back in 2012, investors didn't seem keen on the idea. Some voiced their concerns about the console's arrival when the fate of the console market appeared to be unknown. Some investors pointed to the mobile device market as where the company needed to focus. Nintendo seemingly shrugged that off and insisted that premium Nintendo games need to run on Nintendo's premium hardware.
The company didn't back down from that stance until last week when it revealed that new Nintendo games are coming to mobile devices. Nintendo revealed that it signed a partnership deal with DeNA to bring its beloved intellectual property (IP) to smartphones and tablets. These apps will be original games but will supposedly be developed in such a way that players will want the premium experience on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
In a recent Q&A regarding the partnership, Satoru Iwata, Director and President of Nintendo, said that the company was not pushed into the mobile market in any way despite the media saying the exact opposite (guilty as charged). Nintendo, he said, was not cornered.
"We are also aware that unless a company can deal with the rapidly changing world, it will face decline. But I would like to emphasize here that our alliance is not the result of a lack of better options for a cornered company," Iwata said.
Iwata added that when he first met Isao Moriyasu, President and CEO of DeNA, he wanted Nintendo to collaborate with the company. The knowledge that DeNA shared convinced Iwata that the duo could produce "more attractive" content for consumers.
"I realized that DeNA knew so many things that Nintendo did not. Mr. Moriyasu even said that DeNA did not mind remaining in the background as long as it could collaborate with Nintendo," Iwata said.
DeNA is responsible for a number of apps including Final Fantasy Brigade, Final Fantasy Record Keeper, Heroes Unite! and more. Moriyasu said that despite his company's success in the mobile arena, the best path would be to join with Nintendo to create applications based on the popular and "powerful" IP. The collaboration between DeNA and Nintendo just "makes sense," Moriyasu added.
As previously reported last week, to make this collaboration happen, Nintendo will be acquiring 15,081,000 of DeNA's treasury shares (worth around 22 billion yen), while DeNA will acquire 1,759,400 of Nintendo's treasury shares (also worth around 22 billion yen). Still, despite the new deal with Nintendo, DeNA will continue to co-develop apps with other companies while also producing its own content.
Will Nintendo and DeNA succeed in the mobile market? Are you looking forward to playing Pokémon and Mario titles on your smartphone or tablet?