Following this week's dramatic announcement of Nintendo's partnership with DeNA to greatly expand its move into smart device gaming and services, utilising core IP in the process, there have been plenty of questions around how the partnership will work and how, in practical terms, it'll affect Nintendo's primary work of software development for its own hardware.
In an interview with TIME, Satoru Iwata was asked about who would lead development of Nintendo games for smart devices. DeNA has experience both in game development and - most importantly - back-end infrastructure for online services, and Iwata-san explained that the strengths of both companies will be utilised. In reassuring comments for those concerned that Nintendo's best-known and revered development figurehead - Shigeru Miyamoto - would be distracted from console games, however, Iwata-san has insisted that the designer's priority remains the upcoming slate of major Wii U releases.
Development of smart device games will be mainly done by Nintendo, but it is significant that we are forming a joint development structure with DeNA. Nintendo, through experience in the dedicated game system business, is good at making traditional game products. But for smart devices, in addition to the "product" aspect of a game, the aspect of an ever-evolving "service" is very important—a service that encourages consumers to play every day even for a short time. DeNA has extensive know-how in developing the "service" side of things, and will be primarily responsible for the service-oriented operations. We will be able to greatly leverage strengths of each party.
As for any involvement of Mr. Miyamoto, we will discuss it when possible, but for now, understand that his priority is on the development of Wii U titles that will be launched this year.
As a structure this certainly seems logical, even if it will emphasize some fears that resources within Nintendo will continue to be stretched, with development of Wii U and 3DS games, QoL and the Nintendo 'NX' all on the company's docket. The flipside is that Nintendo has worked to keep relevant departments separate and well structured, and also has financial resources and partnerships to tackle challenges on multiple fronts.
Does this outline of development on smart devices reassure or concern you? Let us know.