Nintendo and DeNA’s recent partnership announcement has been all over the internet these last few days, and with each new appearance comes new information. In today’s interview between TIME magazine and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Iwata shared that a major reason behind the move is that Nintendo “want[s] more people to become familiar with Nintendo IP through Nintendo’s smart device game apps.” He also clarified some of the reasoning behind the decision not to make ports, but instead all new content for the smart device market, saying that “the main demand [on smart devices] is for very accessible games which smart device users can easily start and easily finish.” Most of Nintendo’s main, in-house titles are, he believes, not especially suited to mobile gaming, and wants to design “unique” experiences that cater to the systems they are being developed on.
TIME: The implication from previous statements is that Nintendo still views its platforms as superior, from a gaming standpoint, to smart devices. Are you hoping to leverage the smart device market as a gateway to dedicated Nintendo systems? Will Nintendo’s games on smart devices have gameplay or feature hooks into Wii U or 3DS games?
IWATA: 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. 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.
In the Nintendo philosophy that I just mentioned, being “unique” or “unprecedented” is appreciated far more than being “better” than the others. While we want more people to become familiar with Nintendo IP through Nintendo’s smart device game apps, at the same time, we aim to provide smart device consumers with unique experiences with our game apps. From a business perspective as well, we aim to grow our smart device business into an important business field.