DeNA primarily helping with 'service' side of apps, Miyamoto still focused on Wii U titles

Nintendo will develop mobile games internally

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has clarified that the platform holder’s own development teams will be producing the majority of its mobile games.

In an interview with Time, the Nintendo boss said that its newly-announced partnership with DeNA is largely based on the latter’s experience with the ‘service’ elements, such as the cross-platform online membership service the two firms are working on.

"Development of smart device games will be mainly done by Nintendo, but it is significant that we are forming a joint development structure with DeNA," Iwata told Time.

"Nintendo, through experience in the dedicated game system business, is good at making traditional game products. But for smart devices, in addition to the ‘product’ aspect of a game, the aspect of an ever-evolving ‘service’ is very important – a service that encourages consumers to play every day even for a short time.

"DeNA has extensive know-how in developing the ‘service’ side of things and will be primarily responsible for the service-oriented operations. We will be able to greatly leverage strengths of each party."

When asked about Shigeru Miyamoto’s involvement, Iwata said it would be discussed "when possible" but the Mario creator remains focused on Wii U titles due for release this year, including Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda.

It is also worth noting that Iwata regularly referred to the free-to-play business model as "free-to-start", suggesting a potentially different take on microtransactions.

"Free-to-start model will naturally be an option for us to consider," he said.

"Nintendo does not intend to choose payment methods that may hurt Nintendo’s brand image or our IP, which parents feel comfortable letting their children play with. Also, it’s even more important for us to consider how we can get as many people around the world as possible to play Nintendo smart device apps, rather than to consider which payment system will earn the most money."

Nintendo has reportedly been in talks with DeNA about a mobile games partnership for close to five years. The first title under this partnership will be released this year.

The platform holder also announced it is working on its next dedicated games device, codenamed the NX, which will be a "brand new concept".

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