Nintendo to “actively expand” character licensing business

Equipped with perhaps some of the most globally recognised characters around, it is surprising how little Nintendo do to elevate consumer awareness further through licensing. That’s soon set to change.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has indicated be “proactively finding appropriate partners,” which will include those within “digital fields,” so that they can “increase consumer exposure to Nintendo characters.”

“We are planning to utilise Nintendo’s abundance of character IP more actively,” he began. “I think the reason that Nintendo is now considered to have this ‘abundance of character IP’ is perhaps because of our passive approach toward the character IP licensing business, which tends to have a high risk of damaging the value of the character. In other words, we think that spending time to develop our approach of having our characters appear mainly in our carefully selected games has created our current fortunate circumstances. However, we are going to change our policy going forward.”

He continued, “To be more precise, we will actively expand our character licensing business, including proactively finding appropriate partners. In fact, we have been actively selling character merchandise for about a year in the U.S. Also, we will be flexible about forming licensing relationships in areas we did not license in the past, such as digital fields, provided we are not in direct competition and we can form win-win relationships.

“By moving forward with such activities globally, we aim to increase consumer exposure to Nintendo characters by making them appear in places other than on video game platforms.”

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