Mario Kart Producer To Head Up Nintendo's Mobile Game Development

Nintendo expects to release five mobile games by 2017.

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Longtime Mario Kart producer Hideki Konno has been placed in charge of Nintendo's efforts in mobile game development, according to a report from Japanese business outlet Sankei.

Translated by Nintendo Everything, the report states the reveal was made by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata during the announcement of the company's latest financial reports. The information was provided as a brief update on the company's mobile development plans.

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Although Konno was not named specifically, he has been producing the Mario Kart games since Mario Kart DS.

During the financial briefing, Nintendo also revealed it plans to release five smartphone titles by March 2017, and it is aiming to give each one significant staying power.

"Regarding the number of the titles, you may want to know that we will release approximately five titles by the end of the next fiscal year, which is the end of March 2017, said Iwata.

"You may think it is a small number, but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business."

As previously announced, Nintendo's has entered into a deal with the global mobile games publisher DeNA, which includes the creation of "new gaming applications featuring Nintendo IP, which [both companies] will develop specifically for smart devices."

As part of its partnership with Nintendo, DeNA acquired a 1.24 percent stake in Nintendo, with Nintendo buying 10 percent of DeNA.

Nintendo recently announced a return to an annual profit for the first time in four year, revealing the company made a ¥41 billion ($350 million) profit for the fiscal year ending March 31.

As part of the earnings report the company also updated its launch schedule for upcoming Wii U games. Although it was previously expected to be available by the end of 2015, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is now listed as "TBD."

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