Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nintendo Games for Smartphones!

If you follow me on Twitter - you'd know that every now and again I wonder why Nintendo refuses to port their games for iPhone and release them to generations of now-adults who played them as kids.

Every few months I would think about a fun Nintendo game I used to be obsessed with and wonder why I couldn't buy it for my phone.

It was never the technology - I'm pretty sure smartphones have way more sophisticated hardware than my old 8-bit NES system.

And it was never willingness to pay - I have at least a little discretionary income

And it was never because there were better options out there - Most of the super addictive iPhone games out there still can't hold a candle to the greatness of some of the best NES games.

But every time I would wonder, then I would look it up, and would read another recent statement from a Nintendo executive about how they refuse to release their games on smartphones.

The execs would invariably toe the same party line - moving to a smartphone platform would damage them in unspeakable and unrecoverable ways. Nintendo is a console company after all.

I would read those statement, pretty dumbfounded. It was like the entire organization put its collective head up its collective ass.

But finally, it appears, some semblance of logic and rationality has prevailed:

"Until now, Nintendo had refused to bring its games to platforms outside its own consoles. On Tuesday, it announced a partnership with a Japanese mobile gaming company called DeNA to start developing new smartphone and tablet games featuring Nintendo characters."

Finally, they're at least acknowledging that there may be a future in these smart-phone things.

I get that Nintendo wants to keep its core business focused around building/selling new consoles and games for those consoles. I get it, that's their history. But unfortunately for Nintendo traditionalists, that's not what their customers want.

Nintendo has never been great at making the most hardcore gaming systems out there - the ones that allow for hyper-realistic action sequences and zombie head-busting gore. Nintendo has been great at making games that are approachable and enjoyable (i.e., your mom and your kids can play).

Well - to me the future of those games is NOT married to a console, it's on a tablet or a phone. And that should be pretty obvious to anyone with a mom or with kids.

But Nintendo resisted that vision and held fast to an outdated view of what their business could be. This also leaves out the huge potential revenue stream of their back catalog. Nintendo released tons of great games in the 80's (just as my mom, they're all in the attic), but no one is buying new NES consoles or cartridges these days. And refusing to put them on smartphones is equivalent of the Beatles not allowing digital album sales because their music was meant to be heard on a record player.

However, as I said, logic has finally prevailed...and what was the response from the investment community?

A 30% increase in the stock price.

It's amazing, I'm hard-pressed to think of another corporation who has committed such malpractice by NOT pursuing such a no-brainer business line (the one exception is probably Chick-Fil-A and the whole Sunday thing, but at least theirs has some more reasonable logic). I feel like if Nintendo had been American, they'd have been under siege by activists for the way they've been behaving.

But at least they're making progress, and although technically the announcement states they'll only make NEW games with their characters (not re-release old ones), once the flood gates have opened, I have to imagine they'll choose to accept my (and millions of others) money.

1 comment:

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