The growth of the Internet and social media has largely affected people’s daily lives. As such, Nintendo has to change their tactics according to their consumers’ new lifestyles and different environments in order to maximize the value of their IP.
In an announcement as to why Nintendo has decided to pursue mobile gaming so aggressively, Iwata stated, “Very simply put, it is structurally the same as when Nintendo, which was founded 125 years ago when there were no TVs, started to aggressively take advantage of TV as a communication channel. Now that smart devices have grown to become the window for so many people to personally connect with society, it would be a waste not to use these devices.”
“We choose the most appropriate method to try to maximize the number of people who encounter Nintendo IP and, as a result, we will further expand the gaming population. This is our basic strategy.”
Nintendo’s consumers come from different locations and environments, causing more challenges for spreading Nintendo IP’s accessibility. Iwata continues, “It is natural that the best way to communicate our IP to each consumer also differs. We choose the most appropriate method to try to maximize the number of people who encounter Nintendo IP and, as a result, we will further expand the gaming population. This is our basic strategy.”
Regarding the benefits of utilizing smartphones, Iwata goes on to say, “Among the variety of different communication media, smart devices show outstanding strength when it comes to global use rate, contact frequency and total contact time even though each contact period is short.”
Iwata further explains why Nintendo decided to pursue mobile gaming, “I really had to thoroughly consider how we would be able to grow the business by maintaining and nurturing the value of Nintendo IP and what conditions would make that happen, because the value of content can easily be deflated in the digital world and, especially on smart devices, it is not easy to maintain content value since the lifespan tends to be very short as much content is released and then replaced so quickly.”
“It is a highly competitive market and only a handful of content providers have been able to show enduring results.”
Developing games for mobile devices is a lot more difficult than it seems. Iwata states, “Just looking at the fact that several applications that earn great profits are highly visible in the smart device game business, people in general appear to see it as an easy money market. The fact is, however, it is a highly competitive market and only a handful of content providers have been able to show enduring results. If Nintendo cannot make it to that handful of winners, it does not make sense for us to be engaged in the software business on smart devices.”
For Nintendo to keep providing their consumers with high quality merchandise, they must continue to evolve with our entertainment. It seems that Nintendo has heavily weighed the pros and cons and fully understands the risks they are taking. For more on Nintendo’s choice to create mobile games, read this excerpt.