Nintendo games on iOS could be ‘quite lucrative’, potentially generate $400m – Pachter

Friday, 16th November 2012 12:19 GMT By Dave Cook

Nintendo will launch its first officially licensed iOS app in Japan soon, and the move has spurred many questions surrounding the developer’s approach to the Apple’s storefront. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has explained to VG247 that should Nintendo fully embrace iOS and launch its back catalogue on the format, the move could prove ‘quite lucrative’, to the potential tune of $300-$400 annually.

We reported that Pokédex for iOS is coming to the Japanese App Store at 170 Yen, suggesting that – if successful – Nintendo may consider publishing other games on Apple’s formats.

VG247 asked Pachter for his thoughts on Nintendo’s potential windfall. We suggested that while this was a positive step for the Japanese company, it seemed odd that it has taken Nintendo this long to publish on iOS, given the potential windfall to be gained.

In a statement sent to VG247, Pachter said of the release of Pokédex for iOS, “I think it’s a great first step, and a natural property to try it with. I don’t know that we can necessarily conclude that Nintendo will go all out and start publishing mobile games, but if they were to do so, I agree with you that it would likely be quite lucrative. ”

“I suppose we will have to see if they consider this experiment a success, and that may take some time.”

On the subject of Nintendo’s apparent reluctance to ride the iOS trend, Pachter added, “They fear cannibalizing their other profit streams, as they understand that mobile has been taking share away from dedicated handheld consoles, and likely are reluctant to accelerate that share shift.

“It’s impossible to quantify the financial impact, but I believe it is likely that Nintendo could generate at least as much revenue ($300 – 400 million a year) as Electronic Arts or Gameloft if it were to publish mobile games using all of its many characters, and likely quite a bit more.”

You only have to imagine how well-received classics such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda or even games well-suited to the handheld mindset such as Dr. Mario would sell on iOS to see that such a move could result in significant returns.

We’ll have more insight from other industry figures on this matter in coming weeks. Stay tuned.

But for now, what’s your view on the matter?



  1. BillyBatts

    Been saying this for donkey’s now; if they could port a simple, 2D, rock solid multiplayer version of Mario Kart to iOS, Nintendo could all retire. The immediate fanboy vocal minority would kick up a stink initially, but the earning potential off that would be ridiculous.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. tezzer1985

    Any Nintendo game on iOS, will do well, Pokemon or Mario 2D game, I’m sure will smash records…Angry Birds watch out…lol

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Bam007

    Little typo in the article there.

    “to the potential tune of $300-$400 annually.”

    Not worth it, in my opinion. ;p

    Pachter spoke of this on Pach-Attack a while back. Going to go and look for it now, but he did go on about Nintendo wanting to keep their IP’s to themselves and not have ‘em pop up elsewhere.

    I admit, I do naughty things with video games on console and the iDevice, but I am down for paying $5 for something like Mario Kart for the iOS. Then you can do Donkey Kong and maybe a Rampage game.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Jogo

    Sorry guys and sorry Dave I couldn’t disagree more!

    Here are my points:

    Any single mario game be it mario party or a mario ds game or whatever nets them more
    than 300-400, rather a billion like new mario bros wii. Sure a ios port costs nothing still the console mari games are not that expensive and the overall money earned with one of these single games is still higher than what pachter says they will earn with their whole catalogue in one year.

    If the would go for iOS with their old scholl games they eleminate one reason for people to own a nintendo console that makes these big billion sellers for them, especially the mobile like 3ds which is still their biggest business!! Nintendo makes waaay more money with their software than all ios games took together.. And people would start to expect that new mario and nintendo games would releaase on ios too. So they would start to make their hardware business obsolete, look at how sega shrunk when they got out of that business.

    I am completly convident that nintendo would shoot themselves in the foot with that move.
    They would admit that apple won also, and people would start to guess that nintendo goes out of their tradiotional business. I can see no way were it would make them more profitable than they are right now.

    It isn’t hard to see, is it.
    Plus all of the games would play horrible on touchscreen only..
    Mario Kart without buttons, seriusly? Who wants to play that?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Digital Bamboo

    A Pokemon game, by Nintendo, on cell phones, in Japan? “IF successful” lol. They might as well start printing extra money.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Zohar

    I’ve played Mario and Zelda on a smart phone. It sucks. Just like every “traditionally” controlled videogame. Without the tactile feedback of a d-pad/control stick and actual buttons, it is almost impossible to have an enjoyable experience.

    They would have to dumb it down to something that is unrecognizable as Mario.

    Pokemon would work though because it doesn’t require a lot of quick, dexterous gameplay.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Deacon

    #4 “Plus all of the games would play horrible on touchscreen only..
    Mario Kart without buttons, seriusly? Who wants to play that?”

    And everything #6 said.

    I fail to see how the traditionally controlled games would be worth playing at all on a touchscreen.

    *But*, they’d sell on name alone, considering the userbase. You’d never catch me ‘attempting’ to play one though.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. ManuOtaku

    #4 Jogo i agree thats my way of see it too, i dont know if in the long run this will be good for nintendo, becuase of the you can only find nintendo titles on nintendo consoles, which is the primary reason for owning nintendo consoles, i dont understand why do it all of the sudden.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Ireland Michael

    Nintendo did actually release a Pokemon game on iOS last year, actually. Just some generic tapping game. It was only released in Japan.

    No idea how well it did, but it didn’t exactly set the news alight and it was never released in the west, so it’s hard to say if it was successful or not.

    Good job failing to do even basic research on the subject you’re discussing, Patcher.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. zinc

    I don’t think Nintendo will start raiding their back catalogue just yet, as suggested it would take focus away from their own dedicated handhelds.

    But I can see them creating more ios only games. Keeps their brand in people’s mindset, so if they do head into a gamestore, it’s a Nintendo console they’ll be after.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. ManuOtaku

    #9 Ireland i got the impression we was bad at doing predictions, not researchs, now one more thing he is not good at

    #11 2 years ago
  12. ShakaCarnage

    I love how Pachter just pulls numbers out of his bum. I could literally do his job.

    Look! Here’s $250m!

    #12 2 years ago
  13. CrimsonThunder

    This is the start of Nintendo being a 3rd party developer, now they should stop making those terrible consoles and concentrate on the games.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    Untill mobile gaming gets to a point where it is second nature to be able to use a wireless control pad and conect it to your TV set via hdmi mini to hdmi cable, most traditional games like Nintendos backlog are better staying off of iOS.

    However a vitural pet based Pokemon game could sell squillions if done right. Maybe even a normal Pokemon game. And all sorts of char themed new ips featuring Mario and friends. A sim style Mario Town perhaps…

    #14 2 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    Also “This is the start of Nintendo being a 3rd party developer, now they should stop making those terrible consoles and concentrate on the games.”


    This is more the start of all platform holders broadening their scope and offerings. Wait for LIve enabled Windows Phones/Tablets that allow you play many of your digitaly purchased XBL games on your phone and tablet. Wait for Sony to enable Sony Smart TVs with its Playstation brand, maybe even streaming their entire libary via Giakia straight your TV and maybe Tablet.

    Wait for Apples next move. Or Valves.

    I say it all of the time, it is time to start thinking beyond the traditional gamer. Things will change. Consoles may well become irrelevent.

    This is just Nintendo taking the point, again. It isn’t somehow a sign that Nintendo is crumbling and will soon be disolved. That, is likly wishfull thinking on your part.

    #15 2 years ago

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