Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has said that he's never dismissed smartphone gaming as a genre.
Instead, he says his previous scepticism was merely meant to reflect his uncertainty about how Nintendo might adapt its software to the smartphone model – a problem he thinks he's cracked with the new partnership with DeNA.
Let me explain so that nobody will misunderstand: I have never intended to dismiss the entertainment experiences that people are enjoying on smart devices or any other media,” Iwata told Time. On the other hand, my understanding is that, on smart devices, the main demand is for very accessible games which smart device users can easily start and easily finish. These are not necessarily the characteristics that people demand from games for dedicated video game systems.
Actually, this is one of the reasons why we believe that we should not port games for dedicated game systems to smart devices just as they are because doing so will not fully satisfy the needs of the smart device consumers. In other words, even when multiple systems can run games, I believe the entertainment experiences that the consumers demand vary from system to system.”
Iwata also has some ideas about how Nintendo may stand out in a smartphone world where big companies with big hits often fight it out for short-term, one-hit domination.
Most mobile game makers who have yielded tangible business results appear to be dependent on a single hit title,” he added. For Nintendo, being able to make use of the enormous IP library that we have carefully nurtured for more than 30 years is a major strength. We would like to create several hit titles simultaneously by effectively leveraging the appeal of Nintendo IP, which many people around the world are familiar with.
On the other hand, the value of content generally tends to weaken in the digital world, and especially on smart devices, it is not easy to maintain the value of content. We aim to explore ways where we will not devalue Nintendo IP and, rather, we can further improve the value.”