Nintendo to bring games and IP to smartphones with DeNA partnership

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2015
Video game giant Nintendo on Tuesday announced its classic characters, as well as some new faces, will make their way to "smart devices" through a partnership with mobile app developer DeNA.


Nintendo's Wii U home console.


Still in its early stages, the partnership will see Nintendo's intellectual property jump from first-party consoles to mobile devices, where it can reach a much broader audience. All of Nintendo's IP are eligible for inclusion in future app development, the companies said in a statement.

Instead of simply porting over existing console games, the venture will see Nintendo and DeNA develop new titles made specifically for mobile, ensuring a high-quality user experience. The move is likely to create a groundswell of support from gamers who have waited years for official Nintendo software to land on their smartphones and tablets.

In addition to mobile games, a new multi-platform online membership service planned for launch in fall 2015 will let users play games across mobile devices, PC and Nintendo consoles, such as the portable 3DS and Wii U. Pricing and details have not yet been announced.

Information on upcoming game titles and platform availability will be revealed at a later date.

As part of the deal, the two Japanese firms agreed to buy into each other for $181 million. Nintendo's stake in DeNA will amount to 10 percent of the firm's outstanding shares, while DeNA will take 1.24 percent of Nintendo.

Console makers Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have seen a tumultuous few years after Apple's iPhone, iPad and iOS App Store ushered in the era of bite-sized mobile gaming. With developers focused on iOS , Android and others, the Big Three have been largely relegated to the living room, save for Nintendo's 3DS lineup.

Despite success with its own portable hardware, Nintendo is in a particularly precarious position as its latest Wii U console continues to suffer tepid sales. Today's announcement represents an avenue of much needed growth for the storied gaming firm.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    Nintendo, please bring your games to the ipad.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    This is something worthy of a notification alert.
    I've been waiting for this news for a while now, by so much because I want to play the games (I will) but because of the change this means.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,548moderator
    Instead of simply porting over existing console games, the venture will see Nintendo and DeNA develop new titles made specifically for mobile, ensuring a high-quality user experience.

    In addition to mobile games, a new multi-platform online membership service planned for launch in fall 2015 will let users play games across mobile devices, PC and Nintendo consoles, such as the portable 3DS and Wii U. Pricing and details have not yet been announced.

    The multi-platform idea sounds better but titles made especially for mobile are generally poor. They design the games for limited interaction. Eidos/Square did this with Deus Ex:

    http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/deus-ex-the-fall

    They could have easily ported over Human Revolution:

    http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/deus-ex-human-revolution

    Nintendo will want to protect their hardware sales, which make up 60% of their revenue so they won't port those platform exclusives over. Their venture into mobile will be a way to protect those sales while adding software sales from other platforms but it's the games on their own hardware that people want such as:


    [VIDEO]


    The control scheme should be easy enough for games like that on mobile. It's just tap right/left on each side of the display to go back or forward and then have special buttons in a corner for jump/fire. I wish Apple made a touch controller with some shoulder buttons though. It could have force touch, which apparently feels just like pressing buttons:

    http://www.cnet.com/news/hands-on-with-apples-force-touch-trackpad/
  • Reply 4 of 47
    Be interesting to see some of the fruits of these labors
  • Reply 5 of 47
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    The multi-platform idea sounds better but titles made especially for mobile are generally poor. They design the games for limited interaction. Eidos/Square did this with Deus Ex:


    ...




    Nintendo will want to protect their hardware sales, which make up 60% of their revenue so they won't port those platform exclusives over. Their venture into mobile will be a way to protect those sales while adding software sales from other platforms but it's the games on their own hardware that people want such as:

     

     

    I hope you are right.  When games first started coming out for the iPhone I was on board.  My original DS started collecting dust.  Unfortunately the limitations (tactile controls, game depth, game quality, etc.) I soon stopped gaming on the iPhone and never returned to the DS.  A fews years have passed since and we recently purchased a 2DS for my son.  I have to admit I'm having a ton of fun and even purchased a few games for myself for after he goes to bed.  I couldn't imagine playing anything from the Zelda series on an iPhone.  I think I'd give up mobile gaming again if this means the end of Nintendo mobile hardware.

  • Reply 6 of 47
    moreckmoreck Posts: 187member
    Apple should swiftly negotiate with Nintendo/ DeNA for platform exclusivity.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    Been saying they should do this for 5 years now...it was only a matter of time. Nintendo's profits have vanished thanks to iPhone. Their only hope of remaining relevant and bringing in any mobile gaming revenue is through licensing their IP to popular platforms.

     

    Dare I say, a solid release of titles such as Super Mario might be enough to motivate me to get a dedicated bluetooth hardware controller for iOS.

  • Reply 8 of 47
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Moreck View Post



    Apple should swiftly negotiate with Nintendo/ DeNA for platform exclusivity.



    Why? They will only sell on iOS anyway, it makes no difference.

  • Reply 9 of 47
    Apple should buy Nintendo and keep them as a separate division.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,321member
    Quote:


     Instead of simply porting over existing console games, the venture will see Nintendo and DeNA develop new titles made specifically for mobile


    I hope this does not mean that the original Nes Versions of Mario Bros will not be coming to the iPhone.

     

    Most people want to play the classic's!

  • Reply 11 of 47
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    Why? They will only sell on iOS anyway, it makes no difference.


     

    DeNA make a lot of game for Japan's feature phones. Feature phones are going strong in Japan and the games market on them is equally strong.

  • Reply 12 of 47
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,770member
    I sense total surrender to market imperatives.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    The developer for Crossy Road already proved overwhelming demand for a great Nintendo-like game on iOS. I want Donkey Kong remade by this dev!
  • Reply 14 of 47
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member

    I've been saying for years that Nintendo should be doing this.   Port the Best hits from the NES up to say the N64.  They could even advertise their newest stuff and say only available on the Wii U or their portable device.  That's called target advertising!!!  The number of Smartphones compared to Nintendo Portables isn't even close, the smartphone wins by a mile!!!     Nintendo could even release their own branded Bluetooth controller to use to play their games.  iOS has controller support these days.    Releasing the old stuff is not going to hurt sales of their newest stuff or kill Hardware sales more then they all ready are.

  • Reply 15 of 47
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    I’d’ve been much happier if Nintendo had hired their own people to do this. Still, I’ll wait and see how well these guys port the content.

     

    Still pretty happy about this, at any rate.

  • Reply 16 of 47
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post

     

     

    DeNA make a lot of game for Japan's feature phones. Feature phones are going strong in Japan and the games market on them is equally strong.




    No worry about resources pulling from iOS dev, if that is the fear. Nintendo would target the market that is most profitable, which is the iOS market hands down. The amount of usage, ease & time of development, exposure, and just the average receipt for the App Store all count in that profitability. 

     

    If they wanted to bridge into feature phones, I think it would be after a run on a platform that will create revenue vs a market that only just might. 

     

    Or, maybe they'll lean on Japan's feature phone frenzy to try and lessen dominance of iOS, but that's a poor strategy imo. They don't have powerful enough content to affect phone market like that. 

  • Reply 17 of 47
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Moreck View Post



    Apple should swiftly negotiate with Nintendo/ DeNA for platform exclusivity.



    What would be their leverage? I doubt Apple is going to pay these guys to do that. They could offer help push Nintendo's games, but that isn't really necessary.

  • Reply 18 of 47
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Nintendo is the greatest game developer in the world with the most stupid management and marketing team.

    Playing Smash Bros. Wii U is unbelievable. Gets your heart racing, makes you panic and feels like you're in a sports arena.

    It's amazing the best console on the market has the worst sales!!

    Apple should really negotiate exclusive deals. The biggest, greatest, most critically acclaimed developer is coming to town and Apple is just standing by?!!

    It would break my heart to see their games running on an Android device.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    Apple should buy Nintendo and keep them as a separate division.



    yes buy them. but then combine Wii with Apple TV and convert all the DS games to iOS. without cross platform of course.

     

    this move is Nintendo's surrender. they'll be totally out of the hardware business in 5 years. 

  • Reply 20 of 47
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

    this move is Nintendo's surrender. they'll be totally out of the hardware business in 5 years. 


     

    Aww, that’s cute.

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