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Nintendo courting smartphone developers to boost Wii U sales
News reported by 
Editor-in-chief
May 06, 2013, 03:28:37
 
What do you think? Will smartphone developers be interested? Can these kinds of apps drive consoles sales? It certainly couldn't hurt to get some more games on the system.

The game console and software maker has offered professional-use conversion software to application developers so they can produce smartphone games that can be played on Wii U, a struggling home video game console that helped widen the firmís operating loss in fiscal 2012.

Nintendo hopes smartphone software will help spur console sales, which will in turn lead to an increase in popular game titles for them, the sources said.



Source: Japan Times

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Posted: 05/06/13, 03:28:37  - Edited by 
 on: 05/06/13, 03:28:30    
 
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@Xbob42

Nintendo makes killer software, but it takes them time, and they're having trouble spreading their ressources over two systems. Your idea of having them make cellphone games is not a solution.

What is a solution is to court whoever they can to fill up their release schedule between two of their own releases. Phone game ports don't have to be a selling argument for the Wii U, they just have to make the release schedule less barren, while Nintendo's games do their thing: selling Nintendo consoles.


Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 22:48:03
@Jargon
Is Microsoft really losing billions? It seems to me the Xbox brand is strong, very strong. The Xbox 360 is the leading console in the NPDs month after month, the vast majority of 3rd party games are purchased for the Xbox 360, and they have millions of XBL Gold subscribers paying high yearly or monthly subscription fees. Maybe they are losing billions, I honestly don't know, I don't have an MBA, but in my ignorance it at least seems like Microsoft is in fact making money not losing it.

And Sony, I don't see many people arguing Sony doesn't need to change directions, the PS3 is considered (by most) to be a huge failure, and the Vita, oh heaven help the Vita. The very reason people were getting excited about the PS4 is that it seems like Sony maybe be getting it's act together and rectifying some of the mistakes in made with the PS3 (a more standard, open, easy to develop for architecture, for example).

I don't think Nintendo gets any unfair treatment, the Wii had a very poor second half of it's life and the Wii U is not selling up to expectations. People are concerned that maybe their current strategy isn't 100% the thing they should be doing to keep their company prosperous in the future, it's only natural given that they at least seem to be doing poorly on the surface (even if they indeed make more money than both Sony and MS).


Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 22:55:38  - Edited by 
 on: 05/06/13, 23:01:05
@deathly_hallows

Microsoft's gaming division has been profitable for a while but it absolutely took them a long time to get there.


Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 22:58:56
@deathly_hallows

The original Xbox lost billions and the Xbox 360 lost at least several hundreds of millions in its first few years. Even in the midst of its "dominance" it posted a quarter where it lost hundreds of millions just last year. Sony definitely lost billions with the launch of the PS3. The point is that these companies stuck with it and eventually they turned things around at least to some extent, because their strategy always was to lose money on the initial push.

Nintendo is selling the Wii U for much less of a profit than usual and I'm fairly sure they didn't think they'd be selling huge amounts with such a slim library. They clearly are playing something of the same game as those other companies did last generation, waiting for developers to learn the new hardware and get some big games out that will sell systems and get market share. The fact that third parties aren't currently supporting Wii U isn't great, but it's still way too early to say it will be a complete failure when we know big games are coming this year and in the future, we know that they'll start making more money on the console sales as time passes and we know that Wii U will likely be the cheapest next generation console.

I'm not saying Wii U is a guaranteed success. It might be a failure. But the fact that it has lost money so far is clearly not a great indication of its future, given the recent history of video game consoles.


Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 23:08:14
@Kal-El814
I guess the old saying is true then: you got to spend money to make money.

@Jargon
I agree that it's way too early to deem the Wii U a failure, way too many variables, really anything could happen. It will be interesting to see what happens this Fall when Durango and the PS4 are finally released, maybe they won't exactly set the world on fire either, maybe CoD players will stick with the 360 and the rest of the world is busy playing games on their phones. Who knows?


Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 23:10:03  - Edited by 
 on: 05/06/13, 23:16:44
@deathly_hallows
I think that while they're profitable at the moment that if you go from 2001 to now they've lost money overall, thanks to the original moreso than the 360 even with having to replace so many. If not, they haven't been over that line for very long.


Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 23:13:35
@Zero

" I asked what traditional publishers / developers are making big money on iOS. Your argument seems to be that if some nobody from Finland is making X, Nintendo should be able to make 2X or more. But that kind of ignores that this nobody is not a common case but an exception (the article even calls their success a "rare feat"), and that EA, Capcom, Squarenix, etc. already make iOS games and haven't seen some logical multiplication of the success of nobody developers despite their years of being successful publisher / developers (to some degree) with known IPs in the console and handheld markets. I just don't think that the iOS market is working in a way that known publishers and developers from the console and handheld world get to walk in and say "look, we're better than the stuff you're buying, buy our stuff!" -Zero

Zero I love you dude, but arguments like this are incredibly annoying. You used to do the exact same thing with Steam regarding it's viability. Literally for years and years until the evidence became so obvious and overwhelming you had to concede.

You have the internet. Spend five seconds doing a search, say for "EA iOS profits 2012" or "Capcom iOS profits 2012" to see what a relatively large, established publisher can make. You have absolutely no excuse to post blatantly ignorant statements when the answer to your question can be found in literally five seconds.

Here. I did it for you.

EA made $79,000,000 last quarter on tablet and smart phone gaming. Fastest growing revenue stream at EA. Profits approaching what they make on consoles, have already surpassed what they make on digital products on the PC by a factor of 2.

"The company highlighted the strength of its digital content division, which saw net sales increase 78.8 percent year-over-year to 13.7 billion yen ($175.3 million) and operating income of rise 175.6 percent year-over-year to 2.4 billion yen ($30.7 million)."

So EA after really just getting into the market recently is making almost a quarter billion dollars a year and Capcom isn't far behind them. You are honestly telling me that Nintendo isn't at least as viable as those two? Really? Their IPs blow the ever living shit out of both of those companies combined.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 04:34:01
@Oldmanwinter But the context of "big money" here was this Finland developer. You seemed to be asserting that if this nobody from Finland can make X from a game, Nintendo can easily make 2X or more from a game. But I'm wondering if any traditional publisher has actually seen the kind of success that this Finland developer (or any random hit developer on iOS) has seen? EA making 79 million in a quarter from multiple games (how many?) really isn't even in the same league as this Finland developer making 2.5 million a day (200 million+ a quarter?) from two games, and it definitely doesn't point to Nintendo being able to walk in and double what the Finland developer is doing.

I'm not saying that there wouldn't be money to be made, I just don't think the fact that someone was tops in the console and handheld world automatically means they get to be tops in the iOS world, because I don't think that the market is the same. If it was all we would be hearing right now is how Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Assassin's Creed and Madden are the biggest iOS apps. Not some free to play Finnish game and I dunno... Angry Birds? Do people still care about that?.

I'm actually curious though about how successful "popular" console / handheld IPs are when transferred over to iOS. Nintendo IPs might not mean as much on iOS as you seem to assume they would. Is Call of Duty iOS one of the biggest games on the platform? Or is it just another game? I honestly don't know.

Whatever the case, if Nintendo were a 3rd party I'd say yeah, it'd be weird to not make iOS games. But looking at their business model, specifically their handheld gaming business model, which I think would be the most affected by smartphone games... it makes a lot of sense to me that they are sticking to their own hardware.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 04:57:08
@Oldmanwinter

But both EA and Capcom are in a position that they can take advantage of iOS or other mobile platforms. If Nintendo starts devoting time to deliver products to other devices other than their own, that's less reason to have people purchase their hardware, no? I guess it's hard to know how this would affect them in the long run on hardware sales but I guess this is a chance they're not willing to take. It's a long term investment that could go either way and I can't imagine this would impact them positively in the consumer's eyes. Look at everyone already bitching when Nintendo has 3DS focused Nintendo Directs and not delivering on the Wii U front. To have them add mobile games to the mix would just have these same people think that Nintendo is giving up on their own hardware.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 05:01:15
@VofEscaflowne I guess there is that as well. How is iOS development affecting their productivity on consoles, handhelds? Because EA is another company that isn't actually doing super hot, and apparently they are losing on consoles lately, so they might just be shifting their resources, not really expanding. Or if they are expanding, it's not showing up in their numbers.

Nintendo is losing on consoles lately as well, but they're more invested in consoles than EA is, of course. They're not going to be as quick to shift from consoles / handhelds for smartphones.

What are Sony and Microsoft doing on smartphones? Again, I honestly have no idea. Are they supporting smartphones?


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 05:15:10
@Xbob42

I find it hilariously ironic that you do not consider Microsoft, an Operating System and other software giant, not a master. I take it you mean when it comes to making games, but still.

@Zero

Well... sony have their own line of Smart phones, most of which seldom come here. Lately I've been lusting after the Xperia Z which has a waterproof frame. And microsoft of course develop Windows Phone products. It seems that Durango is going to use Windows 8, just like Phones and desktop. From what I understand (or perhaps I read this somewhere and forgot where from) you're going to have the ability of playing certain Xbox games on the go as well as games you buy from the phone's marketplace on the Xbox (whenever appropriate of course) as well as SmartGlass utility I presume.

Collectively, the industry isn't exactly thriving. With that said, you companies doing better or worse than others.

@Xbob42

I don't think Nintendo is hemorrhaging money partner. I don't know if you're serious or just being hyperbolic. The 3DS is picking up in sales, and the Wii U is till making Nintendo money, just not the amount they had initially projected to make, effectively counting that as a deficit. Plus, I think they are making a new building (although I heard this in a message board so don't quote me on it.

@Scrawnton

While I understand how Nintendo operates, I don't think Nintendo should close itself to the possibility of releasing certain games on iphones, androids, etc. Like some already mentioned, people are going to have phones anyway, so trying to compete with that market is suicide. Instead, they could use it as ad avertisement, like one of those "free" apps that actually require you to buy in-game objects with real money. Nintendo could use that in some way to get kids (and even parents) into the home console by providing a way to connect the two. Maybe do something similar to what Xbox might do (noted above) but one-up it, with connectivity or giving your game on the phone bonus points for buying x game or whatever. Or by simply blocking a portion of the game until one buys a Wii U game in order to interact with it.

Of course this would be provided Nintendo can make a gear hit on the software front, speaking in terms of total sales in order to get the word across. If done right this could work, but honestly, I don't trust Nintendo to pull such a move. Firstly because I consider them incompetent in these fields, and also because they've convinced themselves that smart phones are the devil and/or just a passing fad.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 05:46:22
Tranquilo said:
@Xbob42

I find it hilariously ironic that you do not consider Microsoft, an Operating System and other software giant, not a master. I take it you mean when it comes to making games, but still.

Well yeah, I very specifically meant games, they're terrible at anything game related most of the time. :p


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 06:07:47
Zero said:
@Oldmanwinter But the context of "big money" here was this Finland developer. You seemed to be asserting that if this nobody from Finland can make X from a game, Nintendo can easily make 2X or more from a game. But I'm wondering if any traditional publisher has actually seen the kind of success that this Finland developer (or any random hit developer on iOS) has seen? EA making 79 million in a quarter from multiple games (how many?) really isn't even in the same league as this Finland developer making 2.5 million a day (200 million+ a quarter?) from two games, and it definitely doesn't point to Nintendo being able to walk in and double what the Finland developer is doing.

I'm not saying that there wouldn't be money to be made, I just don't think the fact that someone was tops in the console and handheld world automatically means they get to be tops in the iOS world, because I don't think that the market is the same. If it was all we would be hearing right now is how Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Assassin's Creed and Madden are the biggest iOS apps. Not some free to play Finnish game and I dunno... Angry Birds? Do people still care about that?.

I'm actually curious though about how successful "popular" console / handheld IPs are when transferred over to iOS. Nintendo IPs might not mean as much on iOS as you seem to assume they would. Is Call of Duty iOS one of the biggest games on the platform? Or is it just another game? I honestly don't know.

Whatever the case, if Nintendo were a 3rd party I'd say yeah, it'd be weird to not make iOS games. But looking at their business model, specifically their handheld gaming business model, which I think would be the most affected by smartphone games... it makes a lot of sense to me that they are sticking to their own hardware.


Well Square, EA and Capcom are dominating in the mobile game.

Further you are totally out of touch with what I'm even talking about. I'm not talking about Call of Duty. I'm not talking about making a Mario Galaxy iOS and selling it for 99 cents which would dilute the demand for a new Galaxy on their own hardware, that would be moronic. If Nintendo just did exactly what Square is doing and released a bunch of NES and SNES games they have sitting around with a few graphical updates and put them out for $10-$20 a pop they would make money hand over fist. How is this detracting in any way from their business they already have? They are simply porting old games with some graphical tweaks. It would take a small team and a completely insignificant amount of resources to pull off.

Nintendo without touching anything other than their NES and SNES backlog could release dozens of games a year forever on mobile platforms. Throw the 64 in and the possibilities are endless. And people would pay. That isn't even a question. How do I know? Let's ask Square: Square Enix: £20 iOS games more profitable than free-to-play, adverts.

I dunno. It just seems like there are ways to do it that don't create the nightmare scenarios people are building here.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 06:29:53  - Edited by 
 on: 05/07/13, 06:30:38
I don't play games on cellphones, so I prefer Nintendo not make games for them because then I would have to ignore Nintendo games on cellphones. That said, I think it's great Nintendo wants to make it easier to port those dumb games over to WiiU.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 06:45:12
@Oldmanwinter

That last link only says that their expensive games are doing better than the free-to-play and ad-based ones. Relative data is near useless. Certainly not enough data to go on and say "this is how Nintendo should run its business", since we don't have their numbers either.

As for the port of old games taking little resources to do: look at how long it takes them to port and QA check their VC games. It certainly seems to ask more resources than you claim. They need to prioritize that and we certainly don't need Nintendo to take resources away from it, to put into cell phone ports.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 07:01:50
@Oldmanwinter Squarenix says that, but somehow I doubt any of their games have been as profitable as the Finnish game. I just don't get how this is supposed to be the big thing that Nintendo should do to salvage themselves when these other publisher / developers have not salvaged themselves at all. EA is kind of holding steady at best, and Squarenix and Capcom are still taking a massive dive. I have no doubt that their iOS games make some money, but the overall business model doesn't seem to be fixing whatever the problem is. If they're just making money on iOS by abandoning the traditional market, I don't see Nintendo being too eager to follow that path.

Anyway, if the question is "why doesn't Nintendo just throw some older games on iOS?", I think the answer is still pretty similar to what I've been saying... Nintendo is marketing their machines as the only place to play Nintendo games, and this includes the "classic" Nintendo games. The Virtual Console has been, for better or for worse, a big part of Nintendo's plans for their platforms.

I think there is kind of a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the Wii U, and some of it is even deserved. But one thing that I think is probably going to be true for awhile is that Nintendo is going to be more interested in reviving the console and handheld markets than it is getting into smartphones. This may lead to some short-term losses by not jumping into smartphones. I dunno. I don't think this is insane though. No one anywhere was making the kind of money in video games that Nintendo was making for years, they're not just going to abandon that path because of a weak console launch.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 07:16:21  - Edited by 
 on: 05/07/13, 07:20:03
I'd honestly rather they make VC on their own system first. I could only imagine the sales they'd get if they started offering weekly sales, cross platform play, etc.

They are sitting on a GOLD MINE.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 07:23:27
This conversation is still going on?

Zero said:
I think the answer is still pretty similar to what I've been saying... Nintendo is marketing their machines as the only place to play Nintendo games, and this includes the "classic" Nintendo games.

/thread


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 12:34:22
[ref=id=9795&pagenumber=4#323740]Simbabbad said:[/ref][quote]This conversation is still going on?

[ref=id=9795&pagenumber=4#323722]Zero said:[/ref][quote]I think the answer is still pretty similar to what I've been saying... Nintendo is marketing their machines as the only place to play Nintendo games, and this includes the "classic" Nintendo games.[/quote]
/thread[/quote]

I don't think anyone here disagree with this, least of all myself. I also really don't care if Nintendo ever sells any games on a mobile device they don't make. The argument is to the viability of the market and the ability of Nintendo to make money without damaging their own hardware and software sales via their traditional release methods.


[ref=id=9795&pagenumber=4#323722]Zero said:[/ref][quote][ref=id=9795&pagenumber=4#323712]@Oldmanwinter[/ref] Squarenix says that, but somehow I doubt any of their games have been as profitable as the Finnish game. I just don't get how this is supposed to be the big thing that Nintendo should do to salvage themselves when these other publisher / developers have not salvaged themselves at all. EA is kind of holding steady at best, and Squarenix and Capcom are still taking a massive dive. I have no doubt that their iOS games make some money, but the overall business model doesn't seem to be fixing whatever the problem is. If they're just making money on iOS by abandoning the traditional market, I don't see Nintendo being too eager to follow that path.
[/quote]

I never said anything about salvaging anything. And like I showed above, EA and Square and Capcom... irregardless of whatever revenue streams and losses they have coming in have pulled nearly a quarter billion dollar business out of thin air within the past couple years on mobile devices. I have absolutely no idea what their gains and losses are outside of that and I really don't care... I hate EA, I mildly enjoy old Square games and I cannot name a Capcom game I've played outside of fifteen minutes with SF4 in the past five years.

I don't disagree with your premise that Simbabbad quoted and I agree. That's obviously what they are doing. It may even be the right thing to do, I have no idea. All I'm saying is for you to continuously do your little Steam argument dance regarding the viability of smartphone and tablet gaming as an nonviable or unproven means to make money is at this point becoming ridiculous. It obviously is. Even by relatively traditional means like Square is doing it.


Edit: No idea what is going on with the quote feature, I've tried to fix this twice and it's still messed up.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 15:39:23  - Edited by 
 on: 05/07/13, 15:43:26
@Oldmanwinter

The quote feature is broken for some time now. If you do more than two quotes, it messes up. Very annoying.

Anyway, it seems that the only person here who thinks it's a good idea for Nintendo to release their games on mobile phones is Xbob, no? Your point is Steam and smartphones are viable markets?

I'm not sure Zero says the opposite, really. It's more that the two (three, really) markets are different? And I'm not sure I'd call the smartphone market "viable", it's full of pirate games using the work of other companies, games that barely work, etc. in a word, shovelware. People don't really play those to play actual video games, more to kill time, they're really not on the same level. Or should we say Nintendo should release Facebook games because tons of money is being made there? IMO that market is going to crash.


Posted by 
 on: 05/07/13, 15:53:19
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