Prominent shareholder urges Nintendo to develop and sell mobile games

In letter to president Satoru Iwata, Oasis Management boss Seth Fischer says, "Nintendo needs to embrace this thematic change in consumer demand, behavior, and expectations to stay relevant."

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Prominent Nintendo shareholder Seth Fischer, one of Asia's most distinguished hedge fund managers, has urged the company to break with its decades-old strategy of only releasing software on proprietary systems and instead develop and sell mobile games for iOS and Android devices.

"Nintendo needs to embrace this thematic change in consumer demand, behavior, and expectations to stay relevant," Fischer said in a letter addressed to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and obtained by Reuters.

Fischer is the chief investment officer at Hong Kong-based Oasis Capital Management, which owns shares of Nintendo. The company maintains that releasing its content on third-party platforms would negatively affect its business model, but Fischer wants this to change.

"It is readily apparent that the standard elasticity of demand principle no longer applies in the consumer entertainment market when access requires the purchase of a physical product," Fischer said.

A Nintendo spokesperson would not comment on whether or not the company will genuinely consider Fischer's request. If past comments from Nintendo management are anything to go by, don't expect Nintendo to offer Mario or Zelda games for your iPhone anytime soon.

Defending this long-held strategy last month, 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.

Iwata said at the time that the rise of smart devices does not signal the end of traditional game consoles. "It's not that simple," he said. However, Iwata pointed out that Nintendo must find a way to use smartphones and tablets to nudge players toward the console version of its games.

But “it doesn't mean that we should put Mario on smartphones,” he said at the time.

Nintendo is currently facing increased scrutiny from investors like Fischer, as the company's earnings reports of late have missed the mark substantially.

Discussion

397 comments
skateryanboarde
skateryanboarde

I'd prefer Nintendo doesn't sell their soul to Wolfram & Hart like you did, Seth Fischer.

Nepti
Nepti

There's such a colossal tone-deafness by Nintendo regarding this subject. If Xbox One and PS4 releases were total failures, people whispering into the ear of Nintendo to "go smartphone" might hold credibility. But there's that pesky pink-polka dotted elephant in the room - namely that Xbox One and PS4 hardware are selling well. Nintendo needs to get games cranked out, and good ones. They have successfully done this for 3 decades so it's proven they can do it. Don't fixate on controllers. Don't fixate on smartphones. Just make great games for the hardware you already have out there and the problem will course correct itself. I want to buy a Wii U, but there's one MAYBE two games for it that I'm interested in - it's just not enough to compel me to make the purchase.

NaszadyJ
NaszadyJ

While there is potential in this idea. Honestly, I hate the idea of this for the most part. BUT...if Nintendo were to release one little game, how about one like Doodle Jump featuring Mario as the main character. It would be a 99cent download, and then they could release DLC in the form of new levels and using other characters such as Luigi and Peach. They could release it for a limited timed exclusive to Apple for millions of dollars since it would be the first Nintendo game done like that. Then it would be release on android devices later on. The game would not take anything away from my gaming experience on the handheld or console, nor would it be something that I missed out on because that sort of game is not for me. It would help Nintendo's bottom line, and allow them funds for working on the things that do matter to me. And it would get the shareholders to leave the company alone somewhat I would hope.


I don't let nostalgia blind me when it comes to Nintendo. But honestly, there is only a few other companies that makes games like they do. It just has that little bit of magic...the polished quality, limited or nonexistent glitches, gameplay, innovation, etc. They do it. 

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

I might not have a Wii, but even I wouldn't want Nintendo selling their soul.

Caleb1dunn
Caleb1dunn

It would be great if Nintendo was a software only company.

Pewbert
Pewbert

A shareholder wants more money. What a surprise.

Doesn't matter how bad the games are, as long as they make the monies.

Elranzer
Elranzer

Hedge fund manager. Right.

Yes, this is the kind of comment I expect from a hedge fund manager. Not someone with actual experience in the games industries. Look at companies that have decided to let the suits and shareholders run the game direction... Capcom, Square Enix, EA, Activision... let's not have Nintendo become one of those.

JoInfo
JoInfo

Don't do it Nintendo! Count your losses with the Wii U. Instead, release a new console that is fully portable/ fully home based. That, and be more open minded to 3rd party developers. You have adult fans too! Stick with your own hardware! Don't turn into Sega!

Cozm1kaos
Cozm1kaos

Nintendo is by far the best company. The WII U is an excellent system, and its perfect for the type of games they release on it. I mean come on, lets get real here? do you always want to shoot people? lvl up[ and gear accordingly? I know I don't. I love to turn back on my WII U to play an epic adventure, or just to have fun on Mario games.


The only problem I see Nintendo having, is there games are coming out way to slow. I finished wind waker two times, I finished Mario 3D world twice!! just finished Donkey Kong which I am not complaining about because the two player adventure is a blast!! You always have to admit, when playing the games on WII U, it feels like a good quality traditional video game!!

bluefox755
bluefox755

Won't they be competing with themselves if they release their games on mobile? Ya know? Since they already release games on their own mobile?

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

I don't really care how 'prominent' a shareholder he is, his ideas are terrible.

Karlinel
Karlinel

I really dislike Nintendo and its games, yet I respect its place and I'd be really sad if I saw (again) their games on non-Nintendo devices.

No matter how low your opinion of Nintendo may be, remember the enemies are mobile "games"

widdowson91
widdowson91

I don't care what anybody thinks of Nintendo, I have always enjoyed their games. Sure, they aren't perfect, but neither are Microsoft and Sony. Every company has flaws. I think putting their games on other platforms will actually harm Nintendo, I think they just need to keep their prices more competitive. No NES game should cost over 99p on the Virtual Console any more.

obsequies
obsequies

the next nintendo will be a DS with hdmi out and controller compatibility since thats technically what the wiiu is. a giant ds. This will happen before anything ridiculous like mobile publishing 

obsequies
obsequies

a nice short term buck right

SolidSnakeFan
SolidSnakeFan

This article omitted the best part:

"Just think of paying 99 cents just to get Mario to jump a little higher," said Fischer.

How fucking disgusting.

Sharkspawn80
Sharkspawn80

It would do more harm then good for Nintendo to branch off and make available their licenses to iOs devices or Sony or Microsoft. They need to change their marketing strategy and communications to the public about their products, that's all. Teaming up with Disney as an example would boost Nintendo's popularity and help educate a broader audience then just children of the 80's and 90's.

wallacom
wallacom

Bring Mario to iOS. it would be nice playing Mario on my Apple TV or iPad. I don't own any Nintendo consoles any more, and I'm not going to buy a WiiU so I can play 2 or 3 games  

Ovirew
Ovirew

So when are these big-shots gonna start telling other game developers that they need to start innovating more?

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

Gaming has been taken over by shiny graphics and gameplay has become QTEs and right trigger to shoot the foreigner/alien/monster. Its sad that quality Nintendo games are getting pushed to the side for the same crap we've had for the last 10 years. While you can say that Nintendo has been at it longer it has always been a quality product and quite fun. 


And its even more sad that people like Seth Fischer could get a say in what Nintendo is doing. I wish Nintendo was a private company and these investors can go to hell.

mack10
mack10

Nintendo sells Wiis and WiiUs BECAUSE of Zelda and Mario and and and. They start selling these game on 3rd party hardware and Nintendo is all but gone in the console war.

ramuh1096
ramuh1096

They just need to stop trying to be different and just create a good gaming system, and for god's sake stop trying to use a proprietary disc media. And I don't care for games on mobile phones they suck unless it's a puzzle game or some crap that I will play for a few minutes get bored and erase it.

oflow
oflow

Japan in general seems to be going thru some strange times.  I think its reflecting in the gaming coming from over there.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

*sigh* the more idiotic bullshit I read about Nintendo like this, the more I realize how bad they are failing and how far they have falen from their prime days.  Guess we should do what we did with Atari, remember it for what it WAS and let it die gracefully.


PS to any who would like to claim Nintendo is still going, you are deluded.   WIth their shitty 1000 mario/zelda games, that are bland and uninspired, their shitty consoles that are failing hardcore, and their stupid business ideals they really need to die off bad.  I had alot of respect for Nintendo until n64 when they started to fall.  Guess they have been rolling downhill like a ball of shit rolling down a mountain...

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@JoInfo Or Microsoft or the new Sony with online multiplayer fees. Be more like Valve.

Elranzer
Elranzer

@Cozm1kaos The reason that Wii U games are coming out so slow is because Nintendo is the ONLY one making the games. How can they possibly churn out a Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Kirby, etc game all in two years BY THEMSELVES?


They need to go back to their GameCube-era strategy and contract out their IPs to other devs... remember when we got Zelda The Minish Cap from Capcom, F-Zero GX from Sega, StarFox Assault from Bandai, and of course Metroid Prime from Retro Studios. The Wii era slowed that down (Nintendo pumped out casual Wii X titles while their AAA titles such as Mario Galaxy and Twilight Princess were quite staggered between releases), but the Wii U era needs to bring that strategy back.

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@Cozm1kaos  Did you collect all KONGs letters and Puzzle Pieces? Maybe my friend doesnt come over often enough cause we just reached the 3rd island...

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@widdowson91  Nintendo or the games that arent perfect? Cause their games are true masterpieces and far from being flawed.  

Edit: Re-read,nvm.

Elranzer
Elranzer

@Sharkspawn80 Disney is actually one of Nintendo's biggest competitors. Not Sony or Microsoft, they go after a different audience. The war is for the dollars of family entertainment, which Sony and Microsoft are of no threat. Disney, however, competes for the same dollars that Nintendo does.

Elranzer
Elranzer

@bunchanumbers Nintendo is actually in the process of buying back their shares, actually. Probably because they foresaw bullshit like this from their shareholders.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@bunchanumbers To add insult to injury, online multiplayer fees are sucking any remaining fun out of gaming. I really want Nintendo to stick around and kick Sony and MS's butts without the online multiplayer fee. As for Seth, if he wants to invest in a company that releases mobile products, he should have chosen Google or Apple.

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@mack10  Wonderful 101 is amazing and its a brand new,unique IP with some of the most addictive gameplay Ive ever seen in soon 26 years of gaming so yeah,mario and zelda.......... Unepic is also really addictive and the Wii U version is the best and makesa good use of the gamepad. Now DK:TF is another really fun and challenging game mostly in co-op where coordination,timing and teamwork is required so yeah..wtv you say. Hope you enjoy your generic hide-and-gun interactive movies for the next gen cause thats all your overrated platforms are able to release.

Artwark
Artwark

@xeoneex66  OH YEEESSSSS! Make pointless blood shooting games like COD and GTA where all you do is shoot and steal cars which is suitable for kids and adults because that's what gamers want right? (its sarcastic in case you're dumb enough!) 


Its true that Nintendo relies on IP's that sell well but after the release of Fire Emblem: Awakening and all, I don't think that's the problem anymore. Infact how do those say "Boring and Uninspiring" games end up selling big time? Even then, atleast its waaaay better than those stupid devs who have to release patches instead of actually making a finished game.

widdowson91
widdowson91

@Elranzer @Cozm1kaos  The Wii did get its fair share of outsourced Nintendo games. One that pops to mind is Metroid Other M. Granted, it wasn't the best. But Nintendo did allow Team Ninja to make it.

widdowson91
widdowson91

@gameroutlawzz  There games certainly are masterpieces a lot of the time. Not all of them, of course. Wii Music springs to mind. But my point really was that no company is perfect, and no video game is either. But I will say that a lot of my favourite games of all time are either games made by Nintendo or games from the past that were exclusive to Nintendo hardware.

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

@JBauer2008 That's your opinion.I personally find most of Sony and Microsoft games to be utter garbage.they are like 90% shooters that all have bad gameplay and too many cutscenes and quick time events.I want to play games not watch a bad movie.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@JBauer2008  Seroiusly, Are you that naive of a child?  How the fuck old are you troll?  Cuase the last I recall they have way to many shitty mario/zelda games...  Those IP are stale old and boring.  Like the 100 some Minecraft clones.  Again I say, GET THE FUCK BACK UNDER YO BRIDGE TROLL.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@acemono @Jinzo_111887@bunchanumbersSame here. I'm willing to overlook the lack of BC, even though I wish people would stop calling PSNow it BC.

Artwark
Artwark

@xeoneex66 @Artwark  I pity you. It seems that you aren't matured enough to even play games like Kid Icarus: Uprising and Fire Emblem: Awakening.


Seriously stop mentioning Nintendon't as Nintendo because you're hurting yourself. As for Milking,  if you milk anything that people want, you'll get profit out of it simple as that. If you can't get that out of your pea brained head, I pity you. 


Just for the record, EA suffers more than Nintendo because of their image as a company. The only thing that is upsetting about Nintendo is the hardcore audience and that's just about it. keep in mind that no other company is as passionate as Nintendo and makes their games out of love and affection as Nintendo does.


JBauer2008
JBauer2008

@Def-Trex I think the same as you do, in regards to Sony and Microsoft's offerings. I think you meant to reply to the original poster.

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@Def-Trex @JBauer2008  this. Yet I bet the other Xeo tool believes hes a gamer lol

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@xeoneex66 @JBauer2008  Let me guess,great games with amazing and challenging gameplay are too hard for your narrow-minded weak brain with lack of mental/manual coordination and attention span of a red fish?  Zelda and mario games bland? BAHHAHAHAHAHAHA they put more love into 1 of these games than 100 fucking overrated Shitbox /Piece of Shit 4 excuses of-a-game tacked together. Youre weak,youre fucking clueless,youre bad at video games,youre a fucking cinephile/story-fiend seeking for generic story-focused garbage with the always same,generic,repetitive, tacked on gameplay segments to fill holes between cut-scenes which is 90% of the garbage released on the 2 overrated platforms now plaguing this industry.

JBauer2008
JBauer2008

@xeoneex66 As I recall, you're the one who incited warranted reactions by posting inflammatory anti-Nintendo comments. If there's a troll active, it's you.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@JBauer2008 @xeoneex66  *yawn* I've heard better insults for 5 year olds on World of Warcraft... Anyway as fun as this is I'm done feeding you troll.

JBauer2008
JBauer2008

@xeoneex66 You wouldn't know what to do with a valid question if it hit you in the face.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@JBauer2008 @xeoneex66  Ask me a valid question, DO I care what some childish peice of fuck says? No I do not.  You sir are a fucking MORON.  Please do the world a favor... DONT put your genes into the pool.  You'll further contaminate it.