Nintendo and Retro Studios Speak on Resistance to Going Mobile

"I want Nintendo games to be played on Nintendo hardware."

Some Nintendo fans may be sick of hearing about it, but talk of Nintendo's potential if it decided to shift some work to iOS and Android devices still perks the ears of a number of investors. The jury is asked to consider the financier who suggested a model where players would pay 99 cents to make Mario jump a little higher, because that should never be forgotten. Ever.

Gamespot took the question of a Nintendo mobile presence to two gaming bigwigs: famed Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe and Retro Studios CEO Michael Kelbaugh, both of whom had a hand in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

Tanabe does not believe a Nintendo mobile transition could be as simple as dumping its game roster on mobile devices, requiring a great deal of effort to keep the "feel" of these games, if at all possible to do so:

With games like Mario and Donkey Kong, the control input is such an important part of that. I think if you're trying to replicate that feeling of control that you have traditional to those games, translating those to a smart device, that's just a really, really difficult task.

Tanabe admits that new games could be created especially for mobile platforms, but expresses no interest in pursuing that route:

Of course I'm not ignoring the fact that the marketplace is flooded with these devices and that there are a lot of games created specifically for them. Personally, as I mentioned earlier, I don't have a curiosity of or feeling of needing to create or wanting to create games for those devices. I want Nintendo games to be played on Nintendo hardware.

Kelbaugh, in contrast, has a bit more lax an approach to the possibility. As head of a second-party company firmly rooted in software, he says Retro's focus is on making excellent games regardless of which platforms Nintendo chooses to support:

What we're focused on is just making a great game. Wherever it ends up, that's not our decision, so I think we need to concentrate on making great content and let Nintendo decide what box they want to put it in, how they want to package it. Watching this whole debate going on right now...I don't give it a whole lot of thought just because I'm concentrating on making a fun, great game and hardware's always kind of a revolving target, I guess.

While the likelihood of Nintendo delving into mobile platforms — beyond its dedicated app service — still appears to be unlikely at this time, it's interesting to see the approaches people in different positions take toward it. Hypothetically, would you be interested in a mobile game developed by Retro? Let us know in the comments.


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