Nintendo’s stock price fell by 10 percent after announcing plans to release Miitomo, a “free-to-start type communication application for smart devices.”
It rallied slightly to end the day by falling 8.97 percent, with the negative reaction coming in response to the app missing Nintendo’s previous promise that it would be launched by the end of the year. It will now release in March 2016, alongside new membership service My Nintendo.
Users will first create their own Mii avatar, who will ask a variety of questions that will then be shared with registered friends. Nintendo’s hope being that it will help “deepen friendly relationships,” by covering topics that you may not otherwise talk about with one another.
“Miitomo is exactly in line with how Nintendo should be approaching mobile. It is the ideal toe-dip for the company and its fans,” IHS senior games analyst Steve Bailey explained to the BBC. “The first thing people did on the Wii and 3DS was to create a personal, social presence. This is Nintendo replicating that for mobile.
“I don’t expect it to be a rousing stand-alone success. This is an exploratory effort and one whose role will be complementary to a broader catalogue of games going forward.”
DeNA’s stock price suffered more greatly after the news, ending the day with a decline of 14.93 percent. There’s a clear lack of confidence behind the partnership, which will need to be addressed with the approach taken for the four other mobile titles that the companies have planned.
Bailey continued, “Hardware is transitory. Despite any near-term market grumbles, the greatest risk Nintendo faces is diluting that IP. Anyone expecting a Super Mario freemium game before the year is out, will probably need to throttle those hopes.
“Nintendo has the potential to carve itself a unique and profitable position on mobile, but the journey there may frustrate those investors expecting immense, immediate success. Having to navigate those expectations while preserving the value of its IP, is going to be the key challenge for Nintendo in mobile.”