Nintendo Mobile Dev Wants to Topple Candy Crush

DeNA executive Shintaro Asako believes its Nintendo partnership can amass more than 100 million daily customers.

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Nintendo's first mobile game has the potential to attract 100 million users per day, according to a key executive at DeNA, the third-party publisher enlisted to help develop the new range of smartphone games.

Shintaro Asako, the chief executive at DeNA West, believes Nintendo's IP has the gravitas to reach unprecedented numbers of smartphone players. While Candy Crush Saga peaked in 2014 at 93 million daily active users, Asako thinks DeNA can top that.

“I've wanted to create something globally successful, not only for kids, but for mid-aged people and beyond," Asako told Venturebeat.

“The game should attract a huge range of people. We wanted to get a huge audience like Candy Crush, like 100 million users. We wanted to create something with that kind of DAU [daily active user] base."

On Tuesday Nintendo revealed it has bought a ten percent stake in DeNA, as part of a wider plan to begin releasing new games on mobile. The first of these custom-made, bespoke titles is expected to be released before the end of 2015. Nintendo also announced that it is separately working on a new traditional games console, which is internally named the Nintendo NX.

Asako did not explicitly state that the new Nintendo mobile games would be free-to-play, but the 100 million target is not reasonably possible without such a business strategy.

“I think with the strong IPs Nintendo has, and the strong game operation expertise we have, I don't think we're dreaming [about reaching] 100 million DAU," he said.

“Mobile gaming is our core business, and we definitely wanted to be the No. 1 mobile gaming company in the world. We've wanted to be a dominant player," Asako added.

“We were originally focused on the feature phone space and then shifted over to smartphones, and now [we have] a lot of initiative in both the domestic and international markets. But we really want to be leading player."

He added that careful consideration was necessary to deliver choice to customers without jeopardizing Nintendo's commitment to quality.

“For this, I think the solution is not coming out with 10 or 20 games right away. We should pick the right game. We should actually create a smartphone-specific game that requires day-to-day social interaction. It's not just porting a Wii U game out to smartphones. But actually properly design a smartphone game."

For more on Nintendo's move into the smartphone market, check out GameSpot's editor opinion roundup on the subject.

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