Nintendo recently announced that the video game giant will partner with mobile gaming company DeNA to make mobile games with Nintendo characters for smart phones. This is a bold and huge step for Nintendo. The company failed to really set the world afire with the Wii U console. For the Wii U, Nintendo had trouble with getting a lot of third party publishers and developers on board. This is a progressive step that Nintendo should take right now.
Ultimately, I see this move as an experiment of sorts for Nintendo. Is it possible this experiment does not work? Yes. However in business, there is always a great deal of risk. The risk Nintendo is taking here seems to be worth it. Lately, Nintendo has been very stubborn about making changes. The video game industry is changing at a rapid pace, but Nintendo has remained quite stuck in its way of doing business. Specifically, Nintendo still region locks its consoles. This is something that PlayStation and Xbox no longer do, and Nintendo should stop doing it. Partnering with a company to make mobile games is something different from the norm of Nintendo’s business decisions. With that in mind, I see it as a positive step. Just for comparison, when YouTube first started gaining ground, a lot of IP holders and content providers hated it. Now, just about every movie studio, music label, video game publisher and developer in town has a YouTube channel. A lot of big companies are not afraid of mobile gaming. Nintendo should not be afraid of it either.
Many gamers and smartphone owners are playing mobile and smartphone games. If Nintendo can capitalize on this movement and figure out a way to monetize it, which would really be great for everyone. I see no reason Nintendo should avoid trying something new. People who think this will not work should remember that the Super Smash Bros. franchise originated as a joke. It was never expected to be released in the United States. Instead, the franchise became a huge hit around the globe. Not only that, but Nintendo followed in the footsteps of Activision and Disney Interactive and got on the toys-to-life train with Amiibos. Amiibos have been a runaway success and have really helped Nintendo turn business around last year.
I envision Nintendo doing well with smartphone games is because Nintendo DS and 3DS games are some of my favorites. Some of these games already have similar concepts and play in a similar fashion to many mobile video game titles. Considering that Nintendo is still one of the top companies in its field in the handheld gaming department, I have confidence that Nintendo, along with DeNA, will figure out effective ways to exploit the mobile gaming and smartphone gaming market.
Although Nintendo has been stubborn and set in its ways to a frustrating degree, I believe this exploration in mobile gaming will pay off for the company in the long run. Nintendo and DeNA hope to have their first Nintendo mobile game title out next year.