Thanks to the unprecedented success of Pokémon GO, The Pokémon Company is almost certainly thinking of porting the main Pokémon games to smartphones now, right? I mean, after all, they’d be swimming in money, correct?
Well, not so much. According The Pokémon Company President Tsunekazu Ishihara when speaking with The Wall Street Journal, mainline Pokémon games, meaning the central games in the series like the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon, have a “quite low” chance of ever being ported to other systems.
The chance of finding success in taking a product made for one platform and bringing it over to another is quite low.
Those who understand Nintendo’s strategy for mobile games know that they don’t want to put the full experience on smartphones. Instead, the strategy is to make smaller experiences, inspiring newcomers and veterans alike to check out Nintendo hardware, where they can buy the real thing.
This strategy already proved to be somewhat successful back in July with the popularity of Pokémon GO boosting the sales of all Pokémon games and pushing the Nintendo 3DS into the number one spot on the NPD list.
Releasing Pokémon games on the smartphone would make a lot of money, but it flies in the face of Nintendo’s long term strategy of keeping its foothold in the hardware business as well. Smartphone gamers get just enough before they are forced to find the real Nintendo experience elsewhere.
In the same interview, Ishihara also expressed surprise at the sustained popularity of Pikachu, who nobody saw as a special standout when the first game was being made twenty years ago. If he had his way, Exeggutor would have been the most popular, and children everywhere would shake in fear at the name Pokémon. He’s just happy the grass/psychic type Pokémon finally has some limelight with his new Alola form.