Ex-SEGA of America CEO shares praise for Nintendo

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As part of a broader interview that discusses the dramatic collapse of the company’s brand, former SEGA of America CEO Tom Kalinske has shared that he doesn’t think that Nintendo “should give up hardware or consoles.”

It’s a fascinating conversation, where Kalinske reveals that SEGA were looking to partner with Sony to create and share the development cost of a single platform. That is, until SEGA’s board of executives turned the idea down.

As far as Nintendo’s concerned, he describes the decision not to bring their games to smartphones and tablets as a “marketing mistake” that “would keep their brands relevant.” Although reiterated his belief that they should carry on as a platform holder “because they’re damn good at it.”

“I don’t think [Nintendo] should give up hardware or consoles,” Kalinske discussed with GamesIndustry International. “I am surprised that they haven’t formed a division to extend the IP. I’d love to play some of their games on my iPhone or iPad. It’s really a form of marketing for them in a sense. They wouldn’t even need to make that much money off it, but it would keep their brands relevant with the users, including people that are older, like me. So it seems to me it’s a marketing mistake, but I don’t think they should give up what they’re doing because they’re damn good at it.”

Now LeapFrog’s vice chairman, Kalinske’s current company finds itself in a similar position to Nintendo. Having built hardware and software with their own proprietary language, their educational entertainment is only available to those with a LeapFrog device.

“We’re struggling with that. It’s a big internal issue and there’s a lot of work going on in that area I really can’t talk about,” he admitted. “But from my perspective, I would love to see a way [to have LeapFrog content on mobile devices]–so long as it was profitable, because you don’t want to do these things if they’re not at least a little profitable. And that’s what they’re struggling with, because most of the education content on iOS doesn’t make a profit. Almost none on Android makes a profit.”

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After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

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