Nintendo has been relatively clear on its smart device plans with DeNA in recent times, emphasizing that we'll be playing the first game / app by the end of this year. Quite what that'll be is still an unknown, and we're most certainly intrigued.
It's also been made clear that the volume of games will be modest, as Nintendo aims to produce quality downloads that achieve significant smart device success through building and cultivating a loyal audience. That's part of the thinking in the DeNA partnership, of course, with Nintendo's partner being experienced in mobile infrastructure and services. Speaking at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015, DeNA West CEO Shintaro Asako was clear on how the partnership works in terms of expertise.
Nintendo has by far the best gaming IP. DeNA's expertise is definitely backend.
The executive provided some interesting detail on the planned content, however, avoiding specifics but explaining that five games will arrive by the end of March 2017, and the plan is that they'll all be in distinctive genres.
I understand some people like RPGs, casual games. That's why we decided to work together to create five games, hitting on different genre-utilizing IPs.
We want to make sure out of those five IP that we can end up attracting hundreds of millions of people.
Asako did admit that the partnership is the biggest in DeNA's history, and acknowledged the related pressure as "people are expecting a lot". Not only does the company have dedicated fans to deal with, but the pressure from investors and shareholders is significant; Nintendo's notable and sustained boost to share price has largely been a result of the DeNA announcement earlier in the year.
DeNA's role with Nintendo is significant beyond the smart device games and the 'service' aspect they have, of course, as the company is also working on the loyalty / customer programme that'll replace Club Nintendo.
Which Nintendo IPs and genres do you think will work best in smart device games?