Following the success of Pokemon Go, Nintendo will focus on building a smartphone gaming operation worth 100 billion yen or $910 million. This is according to the incoming president of Nitendo, Shuntaro Furukawa, who is succeeding Tatsumi Kimishima. In the fiscal year that ended on March 31, the Kyoto, Japan-based firm reported that sales had reached 1 trillion yen and this was more than double the figures of the prior year. At the same time operating profit also increased six-fold. The stellar results were attributed to the Nintendo Switch console which sold well.
Nintendo had been reluctant with regards to smartphone games and only entered the space in March 2016. So far it has only released a couple of titles. When revenue generated from licensing characters is included mobile games brought in a little over 39 billion yen in fiscal year 2017 and this was around 4% of the entire revenue haul. Furukawa now intends to expand non-Switch operations and using mobile expects to grow the segment via one game-changing successful product.
The Nintendo way
“The idea that something will emerge that transforms into something big, in the same manner as game consoles, is the defining motive of the Nintendo business,” said Furukawa.
According to the outgoing president of Nintendo, the company realized the potential of mobile games with the success of Pokemon Go which was developed by Niantic, a firm based in the United States. While Nintendo is hoping for hit on the scale of Pokemon Go Furukawa cannot definitely say there is any among the various mobile games that are being developed which will reach such a level of success.
Cygames has already been enlisted by Nintendo to create a smartphone title and in late April the Kyoto, Japan-based firm and a subsidiary of CyberAgent announced a capital tie-up. Furukawa has hinted that in future there will be more partnerships.
Additionally Furukawa intends to introduce the Switch console to more markets especially in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Currently the gaming console is available in 50 markets and Furukawa has bemoaned the fact that for over three decades the Japanese firm has focused on Europe, Japan and the United States.
After leaving Nintendo Kimishima will still have an advisory role at the company. To assist him in making decisions Furukawa intends to create a decision-making panel consisting of five directors. According to him this is because there are other people more gifted than him with regards to evaluating products.