Nintendo’s IPs Are Going Mobile with DeNA Business and Capital Alliance

Nintendo and mobile entertainment company, DeNA have formed a business and capital alliance in order to bring Nintendo's IPs to the mobile market via smart devices.

The big N will soon be on your smartphone. Today, Nintendo announced that it is forming a business and capital alliance with Japanese mobile games and entertainment firm, DeNA (pronounced “DNA”). As per the partnership, each company will be investing 22 billion yen in the other, resulting in around 10% DeNA stock for Nintendo and 1.25% Nintendo stock for DeNa. By leveraging each company’s strengths, the two powerhouses plan to bring Nintendo’s IPs to the competitive mobile market.

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During their joint press conferenceNintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that DeNA had been in talks with the company since 2010 in reference to using their IP in smartphone games. Over the past 5 years, the companies have been thoroughly gauging the market and planning their entrance to ensure that they are in the “best position to prosper.”

Their plan? Unlike other dedicated video game companies who have made the transition, Nintendo is strictly against porting their console games to smartphones. Iwata notes the reason for this being the difference in both the control schemes and standard use of each platform, with console games focusing on “finished products” and mobile games on “ever-evolving content.” He states that “if we cannot provide our consumers with the best possible play experiences, it will just ruin the value of Nintendo’s IP,” which according to Iwata, is the company’s greatest strength. 

Therefore, Nintendo plans to develop brand new mobile-tailored software in partnership with DeNA. You may be thinking this goes against Nintendo’s previously stated policy for creating smartphone games. However, Iwata addressed that potential confusion, stating that he was never against developing games specifically for the platform. Luckily, we won’t be limited to Super Smartphone Mario, as it was made clear that any Nintendo IP can potentially be utilized. Could we be shooting down our neighbors in a mobile Metroid this holiday? There is a chance, as the results of this partnership are expected to take form as early as fall 2015. 


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Amaad Delmar is a senior double majoring in Game Design and Creative Writing (May 2015 graduate). He's an avid gamer, and narrative creationist. Amaad's favorite game is the best game ever made (whether you like it or not): The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.