Iwata talks about why the decision for smartphones.

”When we further analyze the situation, Nintendo’s strength lies in, or our consumers see the most value in and are willing to pay money for, Nintendo IP, such as our software and characters, and we have been creating and nurturing them together with the history of home video game entertainment.

In order to flexibly deal with the developments of the Internet and social media as well as the changes in the people’s lifestyles, we will start strategic endeavors so that Nintendo can maximize the value of our IP that we have used primarily for our own dedicated game platforms.
I announced Nintendo’s management policy of “more actively utilizing Nintendo IP” and “taking advantage of smart devices” in our Corporate Management Policy Briefing back in January 2014. The endeavors that I am explaining now are in line with these management policies.

On the other hand, if we are to maximize the value of Nintendo IP while the competition to attract consumers’ attention is fierce, we must deliver the value of Nintendo IP in a stress-free fashion to our consumers around the world who are living in varying environments.

This is why Nintendo has decided to utilize smart devices aggressively.
Very simply put, it is structurally the same as when Nintendo, which was founded 125 years ago when there were no TVs, started to aggressively take advantage of TV as a communication channel. Now that smart devices have grown to become the window for so many people to personally connect with society, it would be a waste not to use these devices.

Although this is something we intend to discuss more concretely in other opportunities, we are making progress in our efforts to maximize the value of Nintendo IP for our consumers via a variety of different communication methods, including licensing our IP to visual content and a range of other character merchandising products.

For more than 30 years now, Nintendo has been creating various IP for its game software, and as new iterations of the franchises are introduced, the value of each IP is strengthened. Today, there are many fans for each IP, and each one has different consumers with different lifestyles.

Therefore, it is natural that the best way to communicate our IP to each consumer also differs. We choose the most appropriate method to try to maximize the number of people who encounter Nintendo IP and, as a result, we will further expand the gaming population. This is our basic strategy.

Among the variety of different communication media, smart devices show outstanding strength when it comes to global use rate, contact frequency and total contact time even though each contact period is short.

Of course, Nintendo will utilize smart devices as communication media for Nintendo IP. In addition, so that our consumers will be closely connected with them, we will deploy a game business which takes advantage of Nintendo IP.”

Quite a few of you must be wondering why Nintendo, which has never deviated from its cautious stance in regard to the possibility of deploying its game business on smart devices, has now changed its policy.
Please note, however, that I was not dismissing the idea of making games for smart devices per se as I stated at the January 2014 Corporate Management Policy Briefing that a development team of Nintendo would create a smart device application, and please also note that I had not ruled out the possibility of making games when we make use of these devices.

On the other hand, I really had to thoroughly consider how we would be able to grow the business by maintaining and nurturing the value of Nintendo IP and what conditions would make that happen, because the value of content can easily be deflated in the digital world and, especially on smart devices, it is not easy to maintain content value since the lifespan tends to be very short as much content is released and then replaced so quickly. We are making these announcements today because we now have Nintendo’s answer to these questions.

Just looking at the fact that several applications that earn great profits are highly visible in the smart device game business, people in general appear to see it as an easy money market. The fact is, however, it is a highly competitive market and only a handful of content providers have been able to show enduring results. If Nintendo cannot make it to that handful of winners, it does not make sense for us to be engaged in the software business on smart devices.

Accordingly, we had been thinking that if we ever decided to do it, we would have to put ourselves in the best position to prosper.

For many years, Nintendo has shown results as a company which produces products that satisfy consumers with their high quality at the time of the purchase. For the content on smart devices, on the other hand, to be appreciated by consumers, they must provide ever-evolving services in addition to being high-quality products.


Iwata: Any Nintendo IP could be used in smart device software.

As for which Nintendo IP will be used, we do not intend to make any exceptions. Potentially, any Nintendo IP could be used in our smart device software. On the other hand, as I just said, games on smart devices require ever-evolving services rather than just being a finished product. A combined effort will be necessary to operate them. People’s attention would only be dispersed if we simply increased the number of the titles we simultaneously released, and we could not expect to expand our business. Accordingly, we will narrow down the titles for development and operation to some extent.

Please also note that, even if we use the same IP on our dedicated video game systems and smart devices, we will not port the titles for the former to the latter just as they are. There are significant differences in the controls, strengths and weaknesses between the controllers for dedicated game systems and the touchscreens of smart devices. We have no intention at all to port existing game titles for dedicated game platforms to smart devices because if we cannot provide our consumers with the best possible play experiences, it would just ruin the value of Nintendo’s IP.

And, if I can talk a bit further about our game development plan, we will continue doing our best to develop dedicated game titles for our dedicated game hardware platforms just as we have been doing. For smart devices, even in the case where we utilize the same IP, we will create completely new game software that will perfectly match the play styles of smart devices.

As for the details of the game applications for smart devices, we will make the announcements on other occasions. I hope you will look forward to our future announcements.


Nintendo, together with DeNA, will jointly develop a new membership service which encompasses the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems, the new hardware system with a brand-new concept, NX, and smart devices and PCs, and Nintendo will be the primary party to operate this new membership service. 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. This membership will form one of the core elements of the new Nintendo platform that I just mentioned.

DeNA on the mobile market and why the need for a strong IP.

Hello, I’m Isao Moriyasu, President and CEO of DeNA. Thank you for joining us today despite our sudden invitation.

Please allow me to share background and objectives of our new alliance from DeNA’s perspective.
Ever since DeNA was founded in 1999, we have launched a range of online services. In 2004, we shifted our focus to the mobile arena and accumulated world-class expertise in building and operating mobile services.

DeNA’s expertise lies in, for example, the infrastructure technology that can handle massive amount of traffic. We are also able to manage live operation by analyzing user activities and quickly reflecting the insight to improve our service. We have extensive expertise in developing mobile services that are optimized for small screens and short, in-between time usage. I believe this alliance came together because Nintendo recognized these strengths and capabilities of DeNA.

Since we launched our mobile game platform in 2006, DeNA has owed much of its growth to mobile gaming, which is currently our core business. In the past couple of years in Japan, we have tried to adapt ourselves to the rapid market shift from feature phones to smartphones as well as browsers to native apps. I admit it took longer than we initially expected.

But we created a native app hit last year, and we are certainly gaining strong momentum in the app market.

However, the competition in the mobile game app space has been intensifying. All kinds of new titles are launched every day even though the number of mobile games a user can play in a day is quite limited. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get games noticed. This is happening globally.

In order to get consumers to notice a game and actually take time to play it, a compelling differentiator is needed. The most apparent of all differentiators is, I believe, intellectual property, or IP.
Nintendo probably has the most beloved game IP globally. At DeNA that’s our understanding, and I’m sure many of you see it the same way.

I believe teaming up with Nintendo is the best possible strategy to achieve growth in DeNA’s core business of mobile gaming.

Check out the full presentation HERE.