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Nintendo courting smartphone developers to boost Wii U sales
News reported by 
May 06, 2013, 03:28
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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05/06/13, 03:28   Edited:  05/06/13, 03:28
Why not sign up for a (free) account?
Seems backwards. They should release specialized games for smart phones instead. Why not broaden their investments?

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 03:32
It can't hurt, but no one is going to buy a Wii U for games that they can play on the phone.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 03:39
@Xbob42 Because the way Nintendo makes money is to get people using their hardware through stuff exclusive to their hardware. At some point they might start doing more on smartphones, but at the moment they're probably seeing it as the competition.

...which of course is a reason why smartphone games probably won't do much to spur sales, they won't be exclusive to Nintendo platforms. Well, and I don't think smaller digital downloads is how you sell a home console anyway.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 03:43
I am surprised this is for the Wii U and not the 3DS. Surely that would make more sense? I guess the 3DS isn't struggling.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 03:47
I can see the logic behind it but I doubt this will go anywhere. Like @DeputyVanHalen already mentioned, people have phone, and thy are going to have phones because in this day and age it is a necessity as a basic tool for communication, as well as something that is used for their jobs. If Nintendo, or Sony or MS try to compete with cellphones using game consoles, they shouldn't, because they won't win.

Instead, they should focus on what makes games unique, those immersive experiences that you can only get on dedicated consoles.Sure, it may not be as big a market but everything has changed. People are just going to use mobile devices to play games because they already have access to one anyway, trying to compete with the Galaxies and iPhones of this world is not worth fighting over.

What Nintendo should be doing is reaching out to third-party devs, if that ship hasn't yet sailed.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 04:08
Sounds kinda desperate.

Tranquilo said:
What Nintendo should be doing is reaching out to third-party devs, if that ship hasn't yet sailed.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 04:28   Edited:  05/06/13, 04:31
@Zero Sounds like they need to expand their ways of making money. I don't know why some people (don't think I've seen anyone here do it, but on other forums) get so butthurt at the idea of Nintendo making games on non-Nintendo platforms. It'd just be a way to make more money. They wouldn't have to drop support for the Wii U or the 3DS or any of that nonsense. And I'm not talking about porting games from the 3DS to iOS or something, I'm talking about Nintendo themselves making games very specifically tailored to smart phones.

I mean, why not? Most people who own a cell phone aren't going to also own a Nintendo product, but everyone who owns a Nintendo product probably owns a smart phone. Also not talking about those dinky apps like the Pokedex. How about a version of the Pokemon Trading Card game? Or a little Pokemon Stadium battler that could take your save from the DS games? Smaller scale stuff that fits the platform without making the owners of Nintendo hardware feel like their exclusives are going away. It could all be great supplements to those games that would benefit if you owned the bigger product!

Mmm... A Mario runner game with actual levels and stuff instead of just running endlessly... Just like... normal Mario, but you can't stop or go backwards, so you always have to play it like a speed run! I mean they already sort of did this with the Mario alarm clock on the 3DS, which I often have fun playing for a few minutes. But that thing's endless. I want one with levels!

Small-scale, much more minor-budget stuff could be great. Who wouldn't want awesome official Nintendo products on their phones? I can't always lug a handheld around, but I'm expected to have my phone everywhere I go!

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 04:59
Cuz if every soccer mom who owns a cell phone sees Mario Runner HD on iOS why the FUCK would she buy the real thing? For her or her children? Especially if one is 99 cents and the other is 50 bucks?

Soccer moms will be like "why is this Mario game 99 cents and this other one 50 bucks"? Think she'll give a FUCK about the production values of a Mario Universe versus Mario Runner HD? She'll care that "the same game" is much cheaper and accessible on one device than the other.

And it'd probably devalue Nintendo's own hardware.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 05:03
@carlosrox That soccer mom currently doesn't give a FUCK anyway, as evidenced by the Wii U's sales.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 05:04
Ever feel like this message board is just the same discussions over and over again?

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 05:08
Ever feel like this message board is just the same discussions over and over again?

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 05:11
Ever feel like this message board is just the same discussions over and over again?

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 05:23
Ever feel like this message board is just the same discussions over and over again?

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 06:39
I think more software is always a good thing. That being said I don't really know how many people are going to go out and buy a Wii U to play something they can already get on their Android or iOS platform, but it certainly isn't going to hurt Nintendo.

Honestly listening to some of these developers talk about how much money can be made on mobile platforms, it's just fucking ridiculous. Contrary to what a lot of people here seem to think, the profit margins of successful iOS games completely blow anything any developer is seeing on a traditional release out of the water. Yeah I think it's a toxic business practice and one I'll never subscribe to however it's literally printing money for free. Also I wonder how long people are going to be willing to drop tons of real money on treadmill like gaming experiences, I hope not forever because God forbid the entire industry goes this way however it certainly is a great way to make money... for the time being.

Supercell makes 2.5 million dollars a day off of two freemium games. With a total of 95 employees and an operating margin of 58% (25% is considered exceptional).

Anyhow not that I would ever want Nintendo to go that route however if those games are bringing in that kind of money, imagine a Nintendo funded game with Nintendo production values and mascots and what that would bring it. Double? Triple? Fifty times more? Who knows, but when links show up saying investors want Nintendo in the mobile market, that is what they are looking at. It's not a 99c app that makes money, it's getting people on the hook for months at a time dropping real money daily to play. And really if Clash of Clans and Hay Day are making $17,500,000 a week, I don't really think it's out of the real of possibility that a properly designed Nintendo game using the same model would make exponentially more.

Even by Nintendo standards of making money that's obscene.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 06:47   Edited:  05/06/13, 15:38
lawl at you 2...

As for this thread I agree with your humor.

Nintendo hasn't had good third party sales on a console since I was a kid. It doesn't matter. We usually get 2-3 gems a year on a Nintendo console that are truly amazing.

Make that maybe 1-2 with HD making development take longer.

Everyone keeps saying Nintendo should court third parties, but Nintendo is never going to drop their 7% in exchange for third party support. Nintendo made plenty of money during the GameCube era and some of my favorite games came from that era.

Man ever since I was kid all I ever hear after a new Nintendo system comes out is why the third parties didn't come... then during the lifespan the excuses change to some other reason. But people, the reason has always been the same and it is one word.


People much smarter than you or I feel that they make more money with low advertising, not paying for third parties and focusing on 2-3 big games a year which sell for a long time with almost no price drops.

You might disagree with them, you might not like the idea as a gamer who just wants to play the most games possible without buying multiple systems. Whatever your reasons, Nintendo has made excellent profits 18 out of the last 20 years. The small amount they lost last year was a drop in the bucket and they are once again basically printing money. Honestly any company, even the haters would trade places with them in a second(except maybe the energy companies, hehe).

If the marketing team at Sony worked for Nintendo, half of the world would think Nintendo has more money than the national debt and that they were secretly about to colonize mars for fun!

My point is they really aren't that worried and they probably won't be changing their third party strategy anytime soon. Its been working just fine for 20 years.

The only sign I see of them being a little annoyed is being snubbed even harder than the GameCube era. The power struggle with NOA seems to show some changes in this area.

Feels like E3 during the GameCube all over again. But unless they announce Super Mario Sunshine Wii U... I'm not going to be very worried

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 07:00   Edited:  05/06/13, 07:02
I've said this before, had to be awhile ago in some thread arguing about when people thought 3ds was dead and smart phones were picking up steam....Nintendo could make SO much extra side money on cell phones. They really don't need to make new games if they don't want to. They can put VC games on cell phones, sell official phone covers, wallpapers, themes, apps etc. What if the coveted track editor that everyone wants for Mario Kart was a phone/tablet/wii u app? Nintendo could even technically design controller hardware for phones and you could only play VC games that way...

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 07:06
@Xbob42 I don't think it's butthurt, I just see some clear reasons why they would want to maintain their key exclusives on their own hardware as much as possible. If you think about all of the HANDHELD SYSTEMS ARE DOOMED CAUSE OF SMARTPHONES talk that came about leading up to and including the release of the 3DS until it eventually started kicking ass and people realized that it wasn't actually doomed, you'll see why Nintendo needs to differentiate their systems from the other stuff on the market out there.

Yes, it would certainly lead to sales on smartphones, but that might not be worth what they would lose, longterm, which is giving up the fact that Nintendo's home console / handheld are THE home of Mario, Zelda, Smash Brothers, etc. and that if you want to play these franchises, you buy the hardware CDi versions aside. This is a very, very valid consideration in my eyes and honestly, to me, gives me a real reason why Nintendo is not doing smartphone games.

Now, I do vaguely recall some Pokemon smartphone thing, but I don't think that it was real competition to actual Pokemon games. It sounds kind of crappy actually. And it also sounds like Game Freak might have some kind of independence from Nintendo that I didn't quite realize, Nintendo themselves apparently had nothing to do with this release.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 07:19   Edited:  05/06/13, 07:20

I suppose the way Nintendo sees it, putting games on smart phones would probably make them loose more than what they would gain. Most parents wouldn't see the point in buying a $299-349 machine to play a $60 Mario game when you could play a $.99 version on your phone of choice. Of course if the kid complaints enough the parent might give in just to have the kid stop nagging. At this point, Nintendo must have looked at the possibility and decided it will carry on as it has during the better part of these last three decades. Of course what worked in the past may not work in the future. Nevertheless, that formula still seems to be potent right now with the 3DS selling a healthy amount of units raking in some serious dough for Nintendo. It seems dedicated handhelds are not dead, (well the Vita is on life support right now, maybe when the PS4 arrives it'll get some TLC from more devs).

Of course Nintendo could theoretically put out byte-size pieces of their software on phones if they so choose to act as a complement (or supplement) to their 3DS or even Wii U counterparts which is something I wouldn't really rule out. Maybe note even as games for Nintendo fans which let's face it, probably already carry their 3DS with them anyway, but for the little kids that hog their parent's phone. They could put out apps that would effectively serve as advertisement for bigger titles, but I doubt Nintendo has either the malice or knowledge to pull that sort of "nickle-and-dimming". They are still struggling to establish their own online infrastructure. Of course they could learn a thing or two from working with Apple...

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 07:42
@Zero You seem to think it'd hurt Nintendo. Valve releasing their PC games off of Steam and on the PS3/360 hasn't hurt their bottom line, it has only expanded their audience. And that's with the exact same games, I'm just talking about little spinoff titles that'd play in a unique manner suited to the iOS/Android platform that could add value to the core games rather than subtract from it!

Also, keep in mind that not everything on iOS is a dollar. Square regularly sells their games for $10-15 and they're ALWAYS top-sellers. Do you have any idea the potential profit margins there? EVERYONE OWNS A PHONE. I think the statistic is something like 91% of Americans own cell phones, and 46% of American adults own some sort of smart phone. 311 million/2 = 155 million potential customers in the U.S. alone. Obviously not all of them buy games but you get the idea. The market is EVERYONE.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 07:44   Edited:  05/06/13, 07:48
@Xbob42 I think it could hurt Nintendo, sure. Valve isn't as dependent on people buying their hardware. And I'm sure they're thinking long and hard about how to get PS3 / 360 game purchasers over to Steam, but that may not be possible at the moment.

What are the actual profits for Square games? I'm curious. You're talking like they clearly multiplied their profits by some large margin when they started doing smartphone games, but they're in a decline as a company and have been for awhile and nothing seems to be stopping it.

I'm genuinely curious about how successful traditional publishers have been on smartphones. There doesn't really seem to be many huge success stories. Although of course there is money to be made, and few are going to ignore that.

Anyway, Nintendo isn't Squarenix. They're in the market of selling hardware to drive software sales and that's going to affect the way that they make decisions.

Posted by 
 on: 05/06/13, 08:54   Edited:  05/06/13, 08:56
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