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.

  • GreenLinkMaster

    what happened to discus or whatever? I was actually starting to like it…
    anyways this is cool. the tick will be coming up with games you can play quickly, and feel like you’ve made fair progress in even if you’ve only a short amount of time to play, perhaps just a little here and there throughout your day. and yet the game should also feel big and fun.
    I preffer deep long games, but that doesn’t mean you should have to be able to sit down and spend an entire half hour playing it to get anywhere, and do so a few times a day everyday for say 3 weeks to get to the end of it.
    something that will take a week to beat would be cool, but of course that depends on how much time you have to play. it will be hard to make a mobile app game that will be easily accessible to those with tight schedules and yet doesn’t take only a day to finish for those with plenty of free time. though if their mobile games do turn out like that, they would have to be able to put more out fairly often to keep those with the free time to beat them quickly satisfied.
    but of course the most important thing is again that their games remain fun, regardless of however much time you can use to play them.

  • Sara

    I strongly suspect that the older generations who grew up with Nintendo IP games are slowly declining and the new generations somehow aren’t draw to try out these franchises. Many bought a Nintendo just to play Zelda, Mario, and so on.

    Unlike Microsoft and Sony, who largely rely on releasing popular games also available on PC and multiple platforms, Nintendo always has relied on games of its own IP’s. But if these franchises lose popularity, people will choose a more powerful, different console over the Nintendo. Because for many people, owning more than one console is too expensive.

    So Nintendo now invests in mobile platforms, because getting in touch with Nintendo IP’s is far cheaper on a mobile phone. First of all you already have a phone, so you only need to get the game and not a whole console. Second of all, mobile phone games are far less expensive than console games. Essentially, Nintendo hopes that if it’s cheaper and more accessible to play Nintendo IP games, a new generation will love the story of these games enough to want to buy a console and play the ‘real’ games on there aswell.

    In my opinion it’s not enough. It will help, but Nintendo has to try harder to get the popular licenses other consoles have. If a Nintendo is not powerful enough, they got to up the specs on the next one, even if it costs more. One can only wonder how well Nintendo would sell if games like Skyrim had appeared on it, letting you swing your sword live with the Wiimote while drawing symbols with the ninchuck to cast those shouting spells. A Nintendo console of 50 dollars more still sells better than a Nintendo which only appeals to retro gamers and not new gamers.

    For TL;DR people:

    New, young gamers don’t really know of Zelda and Mario, so have no reason to get a Nintendo. Since they can only afford one console they invest in the most powerful one (XBOX or PS). Mobile phone games from Nintendo will introduce those new, young gamers to Zelda and Mario. Nintendo hopes these games will motivate them to buy a Nintendo instead.

  • Sara

    @GreenLinkMaster: I’m fairly sure Disqus is in control of moderation, deciding for themselves if a post is appropriate or not. I can imagine Zelda Universe doesn’t want to wait on Disqus to decide if a post has to stay or go, wanting to make that call directly. I could be wrong though.

  • Billy

    It’d be good to get those titles under the NES Classic series released on the GBA on mobile devices. The games are timeless and easy to pick up and play with controls that should transfer to a smart phone. Then having 1 level demos of the console games would help.