Nintendo Licensing All IPs to Mobile Developer DeNA

Nintendo has caused a lot of surprise and raised eyebrows with today’s announcement of a deal with DeNA, which will mean seeing Nintendo IP coming to smart devices, a successor to the Club Nintendo program, and a gaming hardware product in development codenamed as the NX platform.

It’s a little confusing, so we’ll try to keep things simple when we look at this a little further. According to the agreement with DeNA, Nintendo is buying around $181 million shares of DeNA, which is a 10% stake in the company. DeNA will buy equivalent value shares in Nintendo. Despite some misconceptions, Sony does not hold shares in DeNA any longer, having sold off their 13% share in 2013.

DeNA is a company that manages and provides infrastructure for mobile and online services, headquartered in Tokyo with more than 2000 employees. In 2012, DeNA partnered with Disney to develop mobile games, and they also own Mobage mobile gaming service which has over 30 million users in Japan.

According to Nintendo, the deal means that all Nintendo franchises and characters can potentially appear in games and apps on mobile devices, along with a membership services with DeNA that creates “a connection regardless of the device the consumer uses.” This seems to be a unified account service that ties together content across devices.

As for the new “dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept,” we don’t know yet if this is a successor to the Wii U, 3DS, both, or neither! Iwata didn’t reveal any additional details here, but emphasized that Nintendo is continuing its focus on its own hardware despite the mobile deal with DeNA. More on the NX system will be shown in 2016.

Right now, Nintendo has said that only new games will come to smart devices, and these games will be specially designed for that hardware. They’ll potentially use the Nintendo Network Ids as core login (speculation on our part). According to Nintendo, the development will be a joint approach with DeNA concentrating on technical/online infrastructure and Nintendo concentrating on concept, IP, and gameplay.

More to come as more details are released in the days ahead… but regardless, it will be very interesting to see how this develops and turns out!


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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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