Nintendo is expected to announce a new management strategy on Thursday, though most analysts aren’t predicting that it will be bold new change to the way the company has conducted its business over the years. That is to say, very conservatively.
Perhaps it is owing to this conservative approach that it fell to the Japanese newspaper Nikkei to shake things up a bit knowing that Nintendo is not likely to do it.
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Newspaper calls for smartphone games
In the report by Nikkei, the paper suggests that later this week Nintendo would be announcing a move into mobile gaming by offering new mobile videos and mini-games. While that might make sense, Nintendo has never been willing to license its popular titles like Super Mario Brothers and Zelda for use on other platforms.
Nikkei even went so far as to report that Nintendo would begin making these titles available on smartphones and tablets.
This report, however and not surprisingly, has been refuted by Nintendo in a conversation with Engadget. The company said that “there are no plans to offer mini-games on smartphone devices.”
“Nikkei’s article contains information previously stated by Mr. Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo’s willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products,” Nintendo told the blog. “However during such past announcements Mr. Iwata has also stated that Nintendo’s intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices.”
Doubletalk aside, Nintendo has always made its own hardware for the play of its games.
Failure of Wii U
Most analysts don’t believe the huge failure that was the Wii U will change this strategy. Nintendo, following declining sales in three consecutive years, still has over $8 billion in cash and its own stock lying around the house.
“Nintendo is a special thing, because of its history, so many gamers have a soft spot for Nintendo… they just shot themselves in the foot with this piece of hardware, the Wii U,” said Jean Snow, a Tokyo-based gaming expert. “But I totally think they can get out.”
And despite its Wii U woes, Nintendo still managed to sell over 16 million combined packaged and digital Nintendo 3DS games last year. That represents an increase of more than 45 percent over 2012.
While the cost of game development certainly hurt the Wii U as Nintendo struggled to get new titles to market, some along with Nintendo believe the company’s iconic characters are too valuable to be bounding over and after dragons on tablets and smartphones.
“They could diversify their revenue streams… rather than licensing Mario to another game company it would be better to make a movie or a TV series,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Securities. “Bandai Namco has found great success doing that with Gundam and Kamen Rider.”