Mario goes mobile: Nintendo and DeNA partner on smartphone games

Mario goes mobile: Nintendo and DeNA partner on smartphone games
DeNA, the powerful mobile game developer behind titles like Final Fantasy, Blood Brothers, Transformers and so on, will be partnering with Nintendo to bring its classics to the small screen. Yep, you read that right, after numerous hints that Nintendo will be going Android and iOS, things are finally moving along nicely. 

Previously, the CEO and president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata, confirmed that the company is considering the release of an official mobile application for the company's services. It was not intended to be mobile versions of Nintendo's popular games, but rather something similar to Sony's PlayStation or Valve's Steam apps, that serve as a gateway to their respective gaming universes from your mobile device. Mr Iwata's reasoning for that was that "When you adapt too much, you lose what's unique about you," he mentioned, though saying that Nintendo doesn't specifically restrict its developers from creating mobile games with its popular characters.

Well, the dice fell on DeNA, "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 new games won't be direct Mario ports, though, but rather titles built from the ground up with mobile in mind, based on popular Nintendo characters and a membership service that has its roots in Nintendo's ecosystem will be created by this fall. As for what game titles and when will they appear for mobile, the partnership said to expect more news soon.

TOKYO, JAPAN - March 17, 2015 - 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.
source: DeNA

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19 Comments

1. JMartin22

Posts: 2372; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

All this screams to me is poor quality F2P titles designed at siphoning as much money as they can with the pretty IP faces of Nintendo characters. Unless Nintendo has influence over this contracting company and they set IAP guidelines and standards that are realistic and balanced, then this will most likely be seen as a scorn to long-time followers of the Nintendo brand.

6. mixedfish

Posts: 1562; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

You just described all mobile F2P games.

19. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Dena is hot trash.

2. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2279; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Sega > Nintendo on mobiles.

4. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

Considering that there isn't actually anything Nintendo on mobiles, that's somewhat obvious. Unless you were referring to handheld consoles.

16. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

History showed otherwise.

3. MarquiX unregistered

My childhood coming to mobile? Can't wait to see what's in store. +1 for Nintendo

5. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

I hope this is as far as it goes, having their full games or the like on mobile would be a grave mistake. I agree with their reluctance to be on mobile devices, mobile "gaming" is what has been killing off true gaming.

18. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Completely agree, just got a "New 3ds XL" when it launched and it is so much better an experience for gaming than what you get (for the vast majority) on iOS and Android. Hopefully this new ecosystem has the games you buy tied to your username like with Steam/iOS/Android and not to the hardware.....

7. josephnero

Posts: 783; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Good.it will be a win-win for both sides hopefully

8. seven7dust unregistered

unless nintendo themselves design the games they wouldn't have the same feel ! Nintendo's games are fun cause of the atmosphere the gameplay and pure fun elements to them , they can make even a Racing game like mario cart seem fun compared to others , this is the real advantage of nintendo games , the gameplay and the immersion. graphics are weak , but good enough for kids, the real strength is the fun element , which will not be the same without Nintendo developers.

9. ishamesung

Posts: 46; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

Mortal combat all the way

11. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

... except Nintendo doesn't own the rights to Mortal Kombat.... actually, I have no clue who owns Mortal Kombat, the series belonged to Midway but they went belly up several years back. I have no clue who bought the franchise.

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Mortal Kombat is owned by the same developers for DC Comic games which I think is Warner Brothers. Update: After fact checking, I was right. Mortal Kombat is owned by Warner Brothers Interactive.as of 2009. But the original devs Tobias and Boon are still part of that team.

15. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Ah, WB, now that makes sense. Thanks. I miss Midway, and especially Acclaim, their Turok games on the N64 provided me with countless hours of fun involving excessive violence and gore.

10. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

I wont be shocked when I will see an endless runner Mario or one tap platformer Metroid.

13. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

So I can see, a Mario game similar to Temple Run, since running and jumping is a typical Mario move. I already play many of the classic Nintendo games, thanks to the emulators on Android which I use to install on jailbroken iOS devics, but got really old after a while. Jailbreaking over and over just got to be really dismal and unappealing.

14. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

So we'll have even more mario games now. Oh goody.

17. JohnMilisis

Posts: 23; Member since: May 04, 2014

all i need is yugioh, mario, and pokemon !

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