Iwata: Nintendo won’t risk hurting brand image or IP by developing for mobiles


Nintendo’s landmark alliance with DeNA has been greeted enthusiastically by investors, with their share price having surged by nearly 27 percent on Tuesday alone. But, president Satoru Iwata has assured that they won’t risk hurting either the company’s brand image or IP by throwing their weight behind the smart device market.

It is pricing that has been an early concern, with “free-to-start” and microtransactions becoming an increasing trend in recent years. Nintendo have promised to work with DeNA to evaluate whichever payment method will be most appropriate for each game, although that means free-to-start isn’t entirely ruled out.

“I understand that, unlike the package model for dedicated game systems, the free-to-start type of business model is more widely adopted for games on smart devices, and the free-to-start model will naturally be an option for us to consider,” Iwata began in his response to TIME.

“On the other hand, even in the world of smart device apps, the business model continues to change. Accordingly, for each title, we will discuss with DeNA and decide the most appropriate payment method. So, specifically to your question, both can be options, and if a new Nintendo-like invention comes of it, then all the better.”

He added, “On the other hand, Nintendo does not intend to choose payment methods that may hurt Nintendo’s brand image or our IP, which parents feel comfortable letting their children play with. Also, it’s even more important for us to consider how we can get as many people around the world as possible to play Nintendo smart device apps, rather than to consider which payment system will earn the most money.”

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