Mr. Iwata mentioned during his presentation that Nintendo had not released games on smart devices because of certain issues, and that now Nintendo has found solutions to them. What exactly are these solutions?
Although this is very simple, the first one was establishing the philosophy that we will not release identical games for the two platforms – smart devices and dedicated video game systems. There have been many cases where games originally made for other devices were simply ported to smart devices. But when I asked myself if the best play experiences that these original games contained were incorporated effectively into the smart device versions, I doubted that I could always give a positive answer. The number of consumers who have access to the same game certainly does increase. On the other hand, if the ported game does not reproduce the same satisfactory experiences that the original game provided, information that the game is not satisfactory would just end up spreading and, therefore devalue the content. Alternatively, if identical games were released for these two platforms, the different price points at which the seemingly identical games are offered might be considered unjustifiable to users even if it may simply be due to the different business models applied to the two different platforms. These are just a few of the challenges that existed.
It was important for Nintendo to analyze and clearly recognize that smart devices and dedicated video game systems are two completely different things even though, at a glance, they may appear to be very close from the viewpoint that you can play games on both of them.
Some of you may wonder why it took so long to recognize something so simple. The fact of the matter is, however, I have never heard of anyone who has clarified this point. We aim to develop and release our smart device applications with Nintendo IP which, after their releases, will help you to say, “Now I understand what Nintendo meant,” or “This is indeed a win-win situation for both smart device applications and dedicated game systems.”
And, we have arrived at this alliance because we concluded that rather than doing everything by ourselves, we should collaborate with a capable partner in order to achieve a timely deployment.
While we were pondering what Nintendo should do and how we should take advantage of smart devices, we were discussing various possible collaborations with DeNA. In a sense, through all kinds of strokes of luck, we were able to come up with a good solution for both companies.
One possible (smart device) business model (known in Japan) is “Gacha,” which encourages consumers to spend money (on random game items that may make it easier to progress in a game). What is Mr. Iwata’s opinion regarding this business model, which is criticized because it earns revenue through the gambling urges of consumers?
Because these game applications (that are developed and released as a result of the alliance between Nintendo and DeNA) are going to be offered to consumers by utilizing Nintendo IP, I naturally believe it impossible that they will be offered to consumers via a business model to which Nintendo cannot agree. Both companies have already thoroughly agreed that we will decide the business model based upon mutual agreement – that we will only develop and offer products with which consumers feel comfortable and satisfied.
Of course, I do not deny any and all “free-to-start” style payment systems. However, Nintendo does not want our IP to be used in any scenarios that consumers might think we have taken it a bit far or question whether the content is suitable for children. We do not foresee such games as a result of this alliance.
— Nintendo Co., Ltd.
DeNA Co., Ltd.
Business and Capital Alliance Announcement
Source: Nintendo JP.
…Wanna play? Buy a Wii U.
And if you’ve already got yours, here are all the games already available on the platform. 😀