Nintendo has officially announced a plan to get into the mobile gaming space in a much bigger way. The good news? It looks like they're going about this in a way that leaves their hardware market untouched.
The bad news? We have no idea exactly how free-to-play this experience will be.
The company has partnered with Japanese mobile gaming developer DeNA. This is a mutual purchase of two companies where each spends money to pick up shares of the other. Nintendo owns close to 10% of DeNA stock now, and DeNA owns just over 1%. That purchase goes official on April 2nd.
What does this mean for games from Nintendo? Well, I have some choice bits from the press release to explore that notion. First, no 3DS or Wii U ports
To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.
Next? The idea here is to bring Nintendo's IP to mobile in a way that encourages gamers to get back to their consoles and handhelds.
In order to create completely new game experiences for smart devices, all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance. As these consumers enjoy the unique kind of gameplay found only with Nintendo, they will have the opportunity to explore even more premium experiences on Nintendo's dedicated video game platforms.
DeNA is also set to help Nintendo create some sort of unified account system that ties all of their products together over the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PC and mobile platforms.
We have no word regarding specific software yet. We'll have more on this as it comes.
Nintendo and DeNA Form Business and Capital Alliance
Companies to develop new game apps featuring Nintendo IP for smart devices and a new multi-device membership service
TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 7974) and DeNA Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 2432) today entered into a business and capital alliance to develop and operate new game apps for smart devices and build a new multi-device membership service for consumers worldwide.
Leveraging the strength of Nintendo's intellectual property (IP) and game development skills in combination with DeNA's world-class expertise in mobile games, both companies will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo's IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo's dedicated video game systems business and extend Nintendo's reach into the vast market of smart device users worldwide. Under the alliance, DeNA will also be able to strengthen its gaming business at a global scale by leveraging Nintendo's IP. To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.
In order to create completely new game experiences for smart devices, all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance. As these consumers enjoy the unique kind of gameplay found only with Nintendo, they will have the opportunity to explore even more premium experiences on Nintendo's dedicated video game platforms. Information on upcoming games and availability will be forthcoming.
Nintendo and DeNA also plan to develop an online membership service that is accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo 3DS portable system and the Wii U home console. The membership service, which is targeted to launch in the fall of 2015, will be built on DeNA's extensive experience and capabilities in online membership services.
As part of the long-term relationship and commitment by each company, Nintendo and DeNA have also agreed to form a capital alliance. Under the capital alliance, Nintendo will acquire 15,081,000 of DeNA's treasury shares, which corresponds to 10.00 percent of its total outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. DeNA will simultaneously acquire 1,759,400 of Nintendo's treasury shares, which corresponds to 1.24 percent of its outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. The payment is due April 2, 2015.
The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U™ and Wii™ home consoles, and Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ families of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.3 billion video games and more than 680 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™ and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company's website at http://www.nintendo.com.
DeNA (pronounced "D-N-A") is a global Internet company that develops and operates a broad range of mobile and online services including games, e-commerce and other diversified offerings. Founded in 1999, DeNA is headquartered in Tokyo with offices and game development studios across the globe. DeNA Co., Ltd. is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (2432). For more information, visit: dena.com
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