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Nintendo Mobile May Be a Sinking Ship

by onMarch 21, 2015
 

A few days ago, Nintendo made an announcement that took its fans by complete surprise. A deal has been struck, and some of our cherished characters will become stars in Nintendo mobile games that will be available on smartphones and tablets. The massive gaming company is now pairing with DeNA to bring their games to mobile devices, causing their stock price to take a massive leap skyward.

It is no secret that Nintendo has been struggling lately. Ever since the Nintendo Wii U’s initial release, there have been few worthwhile games released for the system. The Christmas season brought in a couple of big name titles, and a few more are set to come out later this year, but it still appears like Nintendo is trailing behind Sony and Microsoft. Some analysts and fans think that a Nintendo mobile move could help the company boost its sales, others are more skeptic over this huge decision.

With Nintendo mobile games, we could see more titles like Pokemon Shuffle.

With Nintendo mobile games, we could see more titles like Pokemon Shuffle.

Nintendo developers mainly seem focused on developing titles that are specifically designed for mobile interface. Giving famous Nintendo characters a new home on mobile screens could be a helpful move for Nintendo, but it also runs the risk of seeming like a moneymaking gimmick to its longtime fans. Two years ago, Satoru Iwata claimed that there would never be any Nintendo mobile games out there, yet here we are with an announcement that some will soon be on their way. It is a rapid change in plans that the company hopes will help boost its sales and be a part of the rope that gets it out of the pit it is slowly descending into.

 

One article on the subject claims that “Nintendo supplied it with well-reviewed entries in every major game franchise in its stable,” in regards to the Wii U system. This claim may be putting a bit too much stress on the word “every” in terms of games released on the Wii U. We have yet to see a Harvest Moon, Fire Emblem, F-Zero, Luigi’s Mansion, Pokémon, Metroid, or Animal Crossing title be announced for the Wii U. It is true that most of these franchises have Nintendo 3DS titles, both big and small, out and on the way, but it cannot be ignored that they are missing from the Wii U roster of games. In years past, it was common to see unique titles of all of these franchises and more on both the home and handheld Nintendo consoles. Because of this, one could argue that Nintendo has not done quite everything it could to help get the Wii U up on its feet.

What will become of our favorite characters on mobile devices?

What will become of our favorite characters on mobile devices?

Another one of Nintendo’s reasons for going mobile is to increase their outreach and get to new people who have not played any of their games before, or who just need to find the “right” game for them. There is talk about these titles as being free-to-play with in-game purchases, like most mobile games out there. The idea is that these games will get revenue from in-game purchases and compel the players to buy the large scale Nintendo titles on the home or handheld console.

 

This Nintendo mobile could end up being a miracle or a mistake for the company. It could take an unexpected turn for the best and bring in new players and be used as a catalyst to spark interest for bigger titles, but it could also take the complete opposite route. Players of these mobile titles could do what close to 98% of mobile games do and not spend anything on in-game purchases. Or, they could stop playing the mobile game after a couple days of owning it.

 

It will be a matter of time before we see what happens to this Nintendo mobile decision. What do you think about this move? Do you fear that the company will put less focus on their mainline games in order to create these mobile titles? Let us know in the comments!


Edited by: Avery Osborn

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Leave your comments below and add to this discussion. Like what you saw? Follow us on Twitter @GamerFitNation, like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ GamerFitnation!

  • Blitz

    This is article is really reaching to put a negative spin on this. Nintendo’s profits have been fine and there’s really no telling how this mobile announcement is going to pan out.

    • Jen Galik

      I can’t help but be extremely concerned by this move, and I think it all boils down to perception. From both personal experience and research, I don’t think this is a good move to be making. I am in no way trying to be negative towards Nintendo itself, they’ve been my main gaming company since I was old enough to work a NES controller. Their profits are fine for now, partially in large because they’ve been such a successful company for many years. Through my eyes, seeing and experiencing just how few in app purchases actually get bought for mobile games, I think this could be a risk. But that is just my thoughts. It was actually interesting writing this because a fellow writer of mine has an article posted with the exact opposite view. As I said, this is all just my speculation. No one will know for sure how things will fair until Nintendo mobile games are finally out on the market.

      • Blitz

        I don’t think there’s much to worry about. Nintendo has stated that they’ll be handling general game development and DeNA knows their way around mobile marketing. It’s not like in-app purchases are the only way to turn a profit. You can get a moderate profit margin just from downloads and regular play sessions if you have ads on the loading screens. And since Nintendo is developing, the quality of the games will immediately eclipse most of the shovelware in the App Store and Google Play Store. For Nintendo to even re-think their stance on releasing mobile games, their financial team and DeNA must have made a pretty good case to do so.

        • Jen Galik

          You’re welcome! It is always fun and interesting to hear different perspectives.

  • NessWonderSprite

    I disagree with this article.

  • miyamoto

    I see high end Apple and Android devices cannibalizing Nintendo devices down the road. Nintendo is so conservative and traditional. Their “under powered over priced hardware strategy can never keep up with the annually evolving Apple & Android hardware.

    Mobile games should and will look & perform better on QHD & Retina Display smart devices compared to the likes of Wii U, New 3DS & even the NX.

    The casual market is so unpredictable. And Nintendo is insane to bet of them like they did on the Wii. Nintendo keeps on doing the same thing.

    But I wish them good luck down the road because Nintendo will be sailing between the fierce waters of Apple and Android fans. LOL!

    Apple and Android fans will eat Nintendrones and Wiitards alive! LOL!