Mario Will Not Be On Smartphones, Says Nintendo President

By William Usher 2014-01-20 13:01:19 discussion comments
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Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has been under fire ever since Nintendo publicly cut their forecasts for the upcoming fiscal year. The company fell short of expectations as far as console and handheld sales go, but it doesn't mean they're willing to cash in their chips and go third-party.

Game Revolution picked up quotes from the Wall Street Journal where Nintendo's global president Satoru Iwata directly addressed mendicating from analysts and pundits who called for the company to abandon the hardware race and put all their financially illustrious brands on competing smartphones and tablets, saying...
"The spread of smart devices does not spell the end of game consoles. It's not that simple,"... "It doesn't mean that we should put Mario on smartphones."

There have been many calls for Nintendo to let loose their exclusivity, to fire Iwata, to cancel the Wii U, and to put Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong and the rest of their brands on Apple products. This isn't even the first time there has been a major call for Nintendo to go third-party. Back in 2011 Iwata was facing the same criticisms over the Nintendo 3DS, where he mentioned once more that Mario wouldn't be making the jump to smartphones, as reported by Cult of Mac.

It's a cynical mind frame for sure, but that's become the motto of a lot of the media news circuits, as they push to promote that dire agenda within their own circles.

However, Iwata knows best.

The Nintendo IP brands are worth more than any other software competitor on the market. Sony no longer has a definitive mascot (unless you consider Kratos from God of War, but I tend to doubt his menage a trois adventures with naked chicks is the sort of thing you could market to young audiences). In fact, the only brand that Sony has of equal significance to a Nintendo IP is Gran Turismo. And Microsoft's Master Chief is like a giant green brick as far as personality goes; but he has been hailed as this generation's Robocop in space. Outside of Halo, Microsoft only has Gears of War and Forza that carry any sort of moderate significance in the marketplace.

If Sony or Microsoft decided to become third-party publishers, there's little they're losing as far as brand recognition goes.

Nintendo, alternatively, would run the risk of becoming as devalued and insignificant as Sega. Heck, it's hard to count on a hand how many successes Sega has had in the last couple of years, with the most notable being Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Putting your icons on any and every system at any and every turn means people are less likely to pay attention, since they can pick up the game at any time for any system and there's far less significance to the outing. There are only a few exceptions to the rule and that's Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed and Battlefield. But those have more to do with marketing presence than the game quality of each IP.

Iwata's reassurance that Nintendo won't be pursuing third-party publishing (or developing) is good news all around for Nintendo. They're still worth more than Sony and their biggest hurdle is being surmounted (which is software support for the Wii U), as they have a strong 2014 line-up. So long as the Wii U gets the games and Nintendo spaces out their exclusives in a timely manner, they'll easily maintain a strong foothold in the market.


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