It looks as if Nintendo's foray into smartphone gaming will be slow to bed in.
Speaking to investors, president Satoru Iwata has said that the company is currently aiming to release just five mobile titles by the end of the next financial year in March 2017. The first of these is planned to be out by the end of 2015.
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,” the exec told investors.
We have executed several organizational and personnel changes in order to properly operate the smart device business, and we will make further changes before the first release
All of our IP can be considered for a smart device game. On the other hand, since the game business on smart devices is already severely competitive, even with highly popular IP, the odds of success are quite low if consumers cannot appreciate the quality of a game. If we did not aim to achieve a significant result, it would be meaningless for us to do it at all. Accordingly, we are going to carefully select appropriate IP and titles for our smart device deployment.”
However, Iwata did hint at the extent of the company's mobile plans, suggesting that it hopes it will grow to stand alongside traditional games as one of the company's key outlets – although that assertion comes with caveats.
We will strive to expand this business into global markets at a steady pace so that eventually we will entertain hundreds of millions of people all around the world. We are aiming to make this one of the pillars of Nintendo's revenue structure,” he added.
On the other hand, Nintendo continues to have strong passion and believes in the promising prospects for the future of our dedicated video game system business. We will deploy our game business on smart devices not because we think that the dedicated game system business will wane, but because doing so will encourage a greater number of people to associate with Nintendo IP, to become familiar with the charms of video games and, eventually, to explore more premium experiences on our dedicated game systems.”
Iwata added that his universal ID idea will span both consoles and mobiles, allowing users to share an account across all types of devices including 3DS, Wii U, mobile, PC and the upcoming Nintendo NX.