Nintendo has made quite a name for itself in the mobile market in a short amount of time, starting with the company’s socially-based Miitomo garnering ten million downloads, with new items being added to its store every week. But the company has a much bigger picture in mind.
The company recently hosted its 76th annual general meeting of shareholders, in which general manager of entertainment planning and development Shinya Takahashi, president Tatsumi Kimishima and game producer/designer Shigeru Miyamoto discussed, among other topics, Nintendo’s focus on mobile development—with plans for both hardware and software projects.
Takahashi pointed out that, while games will still be a big focus, Nintendo is looking at other types of applications. He noted that, alongside mobile partner DeNA, there are “various projects” in the future.
“Advancing projects like these will require the involvement and support of our partners and not just our own human resources,” said Kimishima, noting that DeNA’s knowledge of the market will play a big part in future developments.
As for hardware, Takahashi made note of peripherals that cater to the mobile market. “Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves,” he said. “I believe Nintendo’s way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game.”
Although the company hasn’t fully laid out its mobile plans, games based on the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises are in the works, and will likely release sometime this year.
Kimishima noted that Miitomo still has a ways to go in mobile distribution. “Miitomo has been downloaded more than 10 million times (by unique users) since it was made available for download this March, and the number of downloads continues to grow. We plan to expand the number of countries where it is available, which should further increase the number of downloads. We are focused on the retention rate, which is how many users continue to play Miitomo. Miitomo represents our first attempt in the field of smart device applications. The communication style of the app is also a new challenge for Nintendo, as this is not just direct one-way communication, but rather communication through Mii characters.”
There’s no question that mobile will continue to play a big part in Nintendo’s future, with a possible tie-in with its upcoming NX console. For the time being, it will rely on the strength of its development and franchises–and considering that Pokémon GO is rolling out worldwide this month, the momentum is just starting.