DeNA: "Things are moving forward according to schedule."
Following Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's death last month, mobile game developer DeNA has now confirmed that its partnership with Nintendo for mobile games is moving forward according to schedule.
Asked during a recent earnings presentation [PDF] if there would be "any particular impact" as a result of Iwata's passing and the management shakeup that ensued, DeNA offered the following statement.
"We are not in a position to comment on Nintendo's management structure," it said. "In our partnership, decision-making is done jointly by the two companies and things are moving forward according to schedule."
The first of DeNA's mobile games based on Nintendo franchises is due out this year, with five to launch by the end of March 2017. A slide from DeNA's earnings report (pictured right) suggests that we may learn about the first game soon, as it teases "announcement plans" are underway.
The slide also references the launch of a new cross-device membership service and the next evolution of Nintendo's loyalty program. Neither DeNA nor Nintendo have announced much about these to date.
Overseeing Nintendo's mobile game development team is veteran Mario Kart producer Hideki Konno. Nintendo won't be porting its console games to mobile, instead electing to create all new titles made specifically for smartphones and tablets.
As for why Nintendo is even getting into the smartphone gaming business, Nintendo of America marketing executive Scott Moffitt recently explained that the company is reversing its long-held stance because the smartphone market today is simply too big to ignore.
"We can't deny the massive install base of smartphones out there," he said in a recent interview, "and some fans that aren't old enough yet to afford their own gaming console, perhaps for those consumers they can start to appreciate some of our content and build a relationship with some of our characters and our franchises.
"We feel it's going to be an additive to our console business."
We've already told you how we feel about Nintendo making smartphone games. But what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.