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Nintendo: five smartphone titles by March 2017; Mario Kart producer heading up mobile - report

Nintendo published its financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31 yesterday, and during a presentation to investors, company president Satoru Iwata touched upon the firm's mobile games plan with DeNA.


Iwata said the current plan is to release five mobile titles by 2017, and Mario Kart producer Hideki Konno will be heading up the mobile division - according to Japanese business outlet Sankei - although Honno isn't specifically mentioned by name.

The site states "Iwata revealed Nintendo has appointed the producer of the popular "Mario Kart" series." We can't find this information in the financial presentation, so it was likely mentioned during the Investor Q&A, which hasn't been released by Nintendo as of press time. (thanks, Nintendo Everything)

In Iwata's presenation, he said Nintendo's confident the synergies between the two companies will enable both "to compete strongly in the smart device space."

"We will start the service for the first game application by the end of this calendar year," said Iwata in the presentation. "Internally at Nintendo, we have executed several organizational and personnel changes in order to properly operate the smart device business, and we will make further changes before the first release.

"As we confirmed on March 17, all of our IP can be considered for a smart device game. On the other hand, since the game business on smart devices is already severely competitive, even with highly popular IP, the odds of success are quite low if consumers cannot appreciate the quality of a game. 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.

"If we did not aim to achieve a significant result, it would be meaningless for us to do it at all. Accordingly, we are going to carefully select appropriate IP and titles for our smart device deployment."

Five titles in development will be released by the end of Nintendo's next fiscal year, which concludes on March 31, 2017.

Iwata agreed five was a small number of games to be released, but the company is determined "to make each title a hit," and it wants to "operate each for a significant amount of time after release."

"This is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business," he continued. "We will strive to expand this business into global markets at a steady pace so that eventually we will entertain hundreds of millions of people all around the world. We are aiming to make this one of the pillars of Nintendo’s revenue structure."

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