Nintendo Reveals Plan to Develop Mobile Games
Mario-maker strikes major partnership with smartphone games firm DeNA; Reveals plans to create service that unites all devices.
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Nintendo has brought an end to more than two years of debate and speculation by announcing that it is making games for mobile devices.
The venerable games developer has signed a multifaceted 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."
The corporation clarified that it is not interested in porting older games to mobiles, but in fact wants to create original games "optimised for smart devices". Speaking to GameSpot, Nintendo confirmed that its mobile business will be focused on iOS and Android platforms, meaning that Windows Phone is excluded for now. It also confirmed that it is not restricting any IP for mobile platforms, meaning that possibilities are open for mobile games based on Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Animal Crossing, Pikmin, and so on.
Meanwhile, as part of the agreement, Nintendo confirmed it is developing "a core system compatible with a variety of devices including PCs, smartphones, and tablets, as well as Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems".
It is not clear how this core system works, but it is likely that Nintendo is in fact referring to a digital service that unites consoles, smartphones, PCs, and tablets.
At a press conference on Tuesday, chief executive Satoru Iwata explained that the new membership service will "encompass the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems," as well as a an all-new hardware system, codenamed the NX.
He continued: "Unlike the Club Nintendo membership service that Nintendo has been operating, the new membership service will include multiple devices and create a connection between Nintendo and each individual consumer regardless of the device the consumer uses."
DeNA is notable for running the the Mobage platform, one of the most popular cell phone gaming platforms in Japan, as well as publisher ngmoco, which has released games such as Rolando, Topple, and We Rule.
As part of the deal, Nintendo has bought 10 percent of DeNA, while the mobile games publisher has acquired 1.24 percent of Nintendo.