Nintendo teams up with DeNA for mobile games push

Alliance will bring Nintendo IP to smart device and create cross-platform user service
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Alliance will bring Nintendo IP to smart device and create cross-platform user service

Nintendo and mobile games firm DeNA have announced a new partnership that will see the platform holder finally establish itself on smartphones and tablets.

Referring to the union as a ‘business and capital alliance’, the two companies will work together to “develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices’. All Nintendo franchises are included in this venture, so expect Mario, Zelda, Pokemon and more.

The duo stressed that this partnership will be focused on developing original and new games that are “optimised for smart device functionality” rather than simply porting Wii U and 3DS games. We’d be shocked, however, if there weren’t plans for retro titles in the works.

Nintendo and DeNA will also develop an “online membership service” that can be accessed not only from multiple smart devices, but also PC and Nintendo platforms. This service is due for launch by the end of the year, and will be built on DeNA’s previous experience with such systems.

The capital part of the alliance will see the two companies acquire shares in each other, each spending 22m yen. That bags Nintendo 15m shares in DeNA, and DeNA 1.7m shares in Nintendo.

More is expected to be announced at a press conference later today.

The news is a mammoth U-turn on Nintendo’s long-running stance of having no plans for mobile games. The platform holder has even secured 3DS versions of smartphone hit Puzzle & Dragons.

Just last month Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the firm plans to bring more mobile games to its own devices, rather than the other way around.