Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has yet again explained why the Japanese video game giant has no plans to bring its tentpole franchise like Mario and Zelda to smartphones.
"The smartphone market is probably more competitive than the console business," Iwata told Bloomberg. "We have had a console business for 30 years, and I don't think we can just transfer that over onto a smartphone model."
According to App Annie Ltd. data provided to Bloomberg, revenue from games played on iOS and Android devices generated more sales than the 3DS and PlayStation Vita in 2013.
Though you might think bringing Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong or any of Nintendo's many other beloved franchises to smartphones would be a lucrative move, Iwata said jumping into this market could jeopardize other parts of Nintendo's business. He went on to say that sales from Nintendo-developed smartphone games, if it ever happened, "cannot be a pillar" for Nintendo.
In addition, Iwata says he has yet to see an example of a console game moving to smartphones and generating tens or hundreds of billions of yen over an extended period of time. "Our games such as Mario and Zelda are designed for our game machines so if we transfer them into smartphones as they are, customers won't be satisfied," Iwata said. "If customers aren't satisfied with the experience, it will decrease the value of our content."
In a previous interview, Iwata acknowledged that smartphones are surging in popularity as gaming devices, but said their ubiquity does not mean the death of traditional consoles. Defending Nintendo's decades-only strategy, Iwata said whatever short-term benefit Nintendo might get from releasing its franchises for mobile devices isn't worth the risk of harming its longstanding policy of offering its franchises exclusively on Nintendo devices.
Nintendo is not entirely averse to smartphones. In fact, just today, Nintendo announced that Mario Kart TV, the video service for this month's Wii U racing game Mario Kart 8, will be available through smartphones. The company's social hub, Miiverse, also works on mobile devices.
Do you think Nintendo should release its games for mobile devices? Let us know in the comments below!
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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