Nintendo DeNA alliance

Nintendo revealed that it is entering into a capital and business alliance with DeNA. Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

In a surprise announcement today, Nintendo revealed that it is entering into a capital and business alliance with DeNA, a major Japanese mobile gaming company, to develop smartphone games utilizing the company's IPs.

This is a clear shift in strategy for Nintendo as it generally shied away from the mobile market up until now.


Nintendo views this alliance as a way to expand into the vast market of smart device users worldwide. To ensure success in the field, the company will be working with DeNA to deliver only new original titles designed specifically with smart device functionality in mind, rather than port existing titles from the Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS.


Nintendo's press release explains that,

in order to create completely new game experiences for smart devices, all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance.”


Satoru Iwata, the CEO of Nintendo, also had a message for the fans fearing that this move will have a negative impact on the company's dedicated game systems:


Nintendo has decided to deploy its video game business on smart devices but it is not because we have lost passion or vision for the business of dedicated video game systems. On the contrary, now that we have decided how we will make use of smart devices, we have come to hold an even stronger passion and vision for the dedicated video game system business than ever before.”


To drive the point home, Iwata announced that the company is working on a new game platform, codenamed NX, with a "brand-new concept" behind it. Unfortunately, no further details about the project will be revealed until next year.


The companies also plan to launch an online membership service this fall. The service will be accessible from a wide variety of devices, such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, and Nintendo's own gaming systems.


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