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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