“Aiming to make this one of the pillars of Nintendo’s revenue structure.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
Nintendo announced in March that it is teaming up with Japanese mobile gaming company DeNA to develop smartphone games starring Nintendo IP, with the first rolling out by the end of the calendar year. The company hopes the venture will help spread Nintendo IP to new markets and act as a gateway to premium games on its dedicated game systems.
Iwata also announced that the producer of Mario Kart will lead development on the company’s smartphone games. Iwata didn’t specifically mention the producer by name, but it is thought he is referring to Hideki Konno, producer of several Mario Kart games including the latest entry in the series, Mario Kart 8.
“Internally at Nintendo, we have executed several organizational and personnel changes in order to properly operate the smart device business, and we will make further changes before the first release,” Iwata said.
The company aims to expand the smartphone games to global markets “at a steady pace” and hopes to make it “one of the pillars of Nintendo’s revenue structure.” Nintendo and DeNA’s new “integrated membership service,” replacement of customer loyalty program Club Nintendo that is slated to roll out by the end of this year, will act as a bridge between smart devices and dedicated game systems.
Jenna Pitcher is a freelance journalist writing for IGN. You can follow her on Twitter.