Last month, a report from Bloomberg said Nintendo was looking to cut back its mobile games business.
While this could be interpreted as the beginning of the end for the entire division, it seems unlikely. As company president Shuntaro Furukawa previously mentioned in May, Nintendo is still "continuing to develop" new applications, but is not yet at a stage where it can announce any new information.
Now, during the Q&A session of Nintendo's 80th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, the president has gone into detail about how the company's mobile operations remain a "significant" part of the plan, as it keeps consumers connected with Nintendo:
In addition to generating revenue and profit, our basic strategy with the mobile business is to expand the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP. For example, we have broadened the fan base for Nintendo IP like Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, and Mario Kart, and in doing so increased our points of contact with consumers. The mobile business is also strategically important for the expansion of Nintendo Accounts, which support our relationships with consumers. Sales from the mobile business do not account for a very large percentage of Nintendo’s overall business, but the mobile business itself is significant in that it provides a wide range of consumers a way other than Nintendo Switch to continue to enjoy playing games using Nintendo IP over a long period. When global distribution of the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp app began in the fall of 2017, for example, it introduced many female consumers and US consumers to the Animal Crossing series, and those same consumers later went on to purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons and a Nintendo Switch console. And starting with Mario Kart Tour, mobile applications have proven to be a great opportunity for people to create Nintendo Accounts. In ways like these, the mobile business with its multiple objectives is contributing to the sustainable growth of the overall Nintendo business.
Furukawa also reiterated how one aim of Nintendo's mobile business was to get more people to sign up to Nintendo Accounts:
As I mentioned earlier, one of the goals of the mobile business is to create long-lasting ties with customers via Nintendo Accounts. We are establishing that through our collaboration with DeNA and will continue with those efforts.
What do you make of Furukawa's latest comments about Nintendo's mobile business? Share your thoughts below.