Nintendo's first smartphone game is due out by the end of this year, and more are soon to follow. In a meeting with investors following the release of the company's 2014 earnings, CEO and president Satoru Iwata (above) said that approximately five mobile titles will be released by March 2017.
"You may think it is a small number," said Iwata, "but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business."
"This is not a small number at all."
Iwata reiterated that Nintendo will take a cautious approach to the mobile market, and won't port existing titles to phones. "Even with highly popular IP, the odds of success are quite low if consumers cannot appreciate the quality of a game," he said. "Also, if we were simply to port software that already has a track record on a dedicated game system, it would not match the play styles of smart devices, and the appropriate business models are different between the two, so we would not anticipate a great result."
Nintendo will continue to produce its own gaming machines into the future; an upcoming console codenamed NX is currently in development. The company hopes that producing games on smartphones will familiarize customers with Nintendo's IP and eventually drive them to "explore more premium experiences on our dedicated game systems," as Iwata puts it. Together with partner DeNA, Nintendo is creating a cross-platform membership service that will work on mobile devices and its own consoles.
Iwata also announced that Nintendo has sold about 10.5 million Amiibo figurines worldwide, saying that the line of NFC-equipped characters continued to sell quickly even after the holiday season. The company is ramping up production for certain models that have proven difficult to find.
Yesterday Nintendo announced its first annual profit in four years.