With all the chatter around the announcement of the 'Dedicated Game Platform' Codenamed 'NX' in Nintendo and DeNA's recent presentation, we thought it would be a good idea to brush up on our knowledge of Tokyo based DeNA Co., Ltd. to see what they are likely to do with Nintendo's beloved IP on smartphones.
Starting with DeNA's Wikipedia page we can see the Japanese company formed in 1999, and over the past 16 years has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the mobile arena. In addition to being a provider of mobile portal and e-commerce websites, the company also owns the Mobage platform, which is one of the most popular mobile gaming platforms in Japan. It also operates many other services, including a popular e-commerce website DeNA Shopping.
There are a lot of interesting highlights in DeNA's relatively short history, but one that really stood out to us was the announced partnership with Disney to develop and promote mobile social games back in March 2012. Nintendo is often referred to as the Disney of videogames due to the strength of its IP. In the 1990s, a national survey even found that the portly plumber was more recognisable to American children than Mickey Mouse.
So let's take a quick look at some of what DeNA and Disney have been up to following this announcement in 2012.
In 2012 a social game called Disney Party was launched earlier in Japan, quickly followed by a second title called Disney Fantasy Quest.
In 2013 DeNA and Disney released Marvel: War of Heroes, which is a freemium card battle action game, with in-app purchases.
In 2014 we saw the release of Star Wars: Galactic Defense, which added its own flare to the traditional tower defense genre.
In 2015 there was the announcement of Marvel Mighty Heroes, which is a real-time co-op brawler starring super heroes and super villains of the Marvel Universe, currently in development for smartphones and tablets.
These examples will likely give you a good example of the types of games which DeNA, under the guise of its mobile gaming division Mobage, is likely to produce using Nintendo's IP. We can expect to see new experiences suited to smartphone and tablet platforms such as card battlers, social games and tower defence for example which might better suit Nintendo's precious IP on these touch enabled devices. What we are very unlikely to see is ports of the types of games which Nintendo currently produces for the Wii U and 3DS which are suited to physical controls and buttons, as has already been stated by Satoru Iwata.
Let us know what you think of these projects, and how similar ideas could be used with Nintendo IP, in the comments below.