According to the latest reports, Nintendo’s annual operating profit is expected to be on the weak side for sales of consoles so the plan is to develop and operate various gaming applications in conjunction with DeNA Co Ltd, an online gaming firm.
Sometime later this year, the joint effort will result in a launch of an online service whereby memberships can be purchased. As a member, smartphone users will have access to different games, alongside portable 3DS and Wii U consoles.
As stated by Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, this new endeavor will create a much-needed bridge between gaming consoles and smart devices. He added that with this project, no one expects smart devices to outsell consoles but it does meet the growing demand of users who want Nintendo smartphone gaming opportunities.
For quite some time, Nintendo has been encouraged by investors to make a change whereby mobile devices would be focused on, this following a drop in customers to competitors like Sony Corporation’s PlayStation and Microsoft Corporation’s Xbox who offer both console and gaming applications.
To this point, Nintendo has pushed back, hoping that one of the company’s most popular games, Mario Kart 8, would make a difference. However, because of weak 3DS sales by year-end 2014, the company had to cut the target for operating earnings by 50% to $169 million for the fiscal year ending through the end of this month.
As part of the plan, Nintendo will purchase $165 million in shares in DeNA and vice versa. Ultimately, this means that 10% stake in DeNA will be acquired by Nintendo and 1.2% of Nintendo will acquired by DeNA.
Specific information about the first mobile game has not yet been provided although according to Iwata, he promised it would not be among the more popular games offered for console play.
Iwata added that NX is currently being developed by Nintendo, which is a new platform for gaming but again, not details were given.
DeNA first launched in 1999 as a startup that today, is ranked as one of the top online gaming companies although most games are played on internet browsers.
By creating a partnership with Nintendo, some of the momentum lost over the last two years will be regained. The decline for DeNA has been the result of online gamers choosing applications that are extremely popular.