Satoru Iwata on why now’s the right time for Nintendo to tackle mobiles


After years of deflecting pressure to develop games for smart devices, Nintendo surprised the world this week when they announced their business and capital alliance with DeNA.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has addressed why now was the right time to make the landmark move, sharing how the company is wary of the challenges but had reached a moment where solutions to their concerns had been identified.

“In the digital world, content has the tendency to lose value, and especially on smart devices, we recognise that it is challenging to maintain the value of our content,” Iwata explained to TIME.

“It is because of this recognition that we have maintained our careful stance. However, we have been seriously and continuously considering how we should make use of smart devices. We made the announcement yesterday because we finally found solutions to the problems we identified. More specifically, we will not merely port games developed for our dedicated game systems to smart devices just as they are – we will develop brand new software which perfectly matches the play style and control mechanisms of smart devices.”

While developing for smart devices will allow Nintendo to expand themselves into another revenue stream, their hope is that engaging new players will eventually see them drawn toward the company’s dedicated hardware.

He continued, “We have come to the stage where we can say that we will be able to develop and operate software which, in the end, will not hurt the value of Nintendo IP but, rather, will become an opportunity for the great number of people around the world who own smart devices – but do not have interest in dedicated video game hardware – to be interested in Nintendo IP and eventually to become fans of our dedicated game systems. Yesterday, we finally came to the stage where we were able to announce the alliance with DeNA, which plays a key role in these solutions.”

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