Nintendo won't be an imitator in mobile market, says Iwata

Company ponders "wide and small" strategy.

GameSpot staff
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GameSpot staff
2 min read

Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata has said the company's strategy in the mobile games market is to "receive a small amount of money from a wide range of consumers."

Speaking with investors during a financial results briefing, Iwata said the company would not be able to achieve success in the market by being an imitator.

"I think many of you here already understand that while it was simple for many to earn revenue in the beginning just from creating a smart device application, the situation has been rapidly changing and now, with intense competition, generating revenue on smart devices is no longer easy," he explained. "I don't think we can realize what we aspire to by simply imitating a past success formula."

Nintendo is resistant to simply mixing current mobile game monetisation strategies with its intellectual properties and, instead, is aiming to "produce long-lasting results" over strategies that may provide short-term revenue.

Iwata also said that Nintendo would not use methods that have been proven to work in Japan, because it aspires to capture a worldwide audience.

"My understanding of how to succeed in the Japanese market now is to find a limited number of generous consumers who are willing to spend a lot and analyze what encourages them to spend," said Iwata.

"However, if we did that, I don't think that we would be able to entertain hundreds of millions of consumers all around the world or to produce large and long-lasting achievements."

Although Nintendo hasn't yet figured out exactly how to do it, the company is working on how it can pitch its mobile games to get a "small and wide" range of consumers, but also reach the performance levels of the narrow and large titles.

"The basis of our strategy will be how we can receive a small amount of money from a wide range of consumers. However, as people in general recognize that the narrow-and-large method has been outperforming the others, we are investigating where to change in order to surpass existing hurdles.

"We have had various discussions internally, I have challenged the developers with this issue and they have had many active discussions on the topic," he said. "We already have some specific ideas and will announce them in due course.

In March Nintendo entered into a deal with the global mobile games publisher DeNA, which includes the creation of "new gaming applications featuring Nintendo IP, which [both companies] will develop specifically for smart devices."

As part of its partnership with Nintendo, DeNA acquired a one percent stake in Nintendo, with Nintendo buying ten percent of DeNA.

Hideki Konno has been placed in charge of Nintendo's mobile game development efforts. Konno has been producing the Mario Kart games since Mario Kart DS.