Ever since the arrival of the new Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo has been changing. Today some tweets by Dr. Serkan Toto, the CEO of Tokyo-based Kantan Games which is a game industry consultant company, translated some information from the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun His tweets talk about what Kimishima revealed in the piece.
First, Nintendo “wants to surprise fans with new ideas – not build on old ones” and they will give us more details on the NX in 2016. Second, Nintendo is not only expanding to mobile and theme parks but also movies and TV animes. Third, the first smartphone app will be out in March [at least in Japan we would guess] and that it’s important for Nintendo to experiment with new business models. Fourth, Kimishima says smartphone apps (yes the translation says “apps” plural) in 2016 with Nintendo characters. Fifth, “The plan is to bring profits to 100 billion yen ($855 million) in ‘several years’,” which Dr. Toto notes would be 4 times last year’s profit.
Yesterday, in a phone interview with Jason Michael Paul, the producer of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert series, (full article about the interview up soon) we stopped briefly to talk about Nintendo. I mentioned reading about them talking about looking at new things and him being aware of what was going on chimed in that Nintendo’s stock had went up. Sure enough, Dr. Toto mentions the stock went up 9% just two days ago.
When you look at the picture of Nintendo in the late 1980s and early 1990s they are still very similar to today. One of the key differences is that now they seem to exist more in a vacuum. At the time we had the Super Mario Bros. Super Show and the terrible Super Mario Bros. movie. Beyond that, it’s been rare to see Nintendo IPs outside of their own Nintendo games. Aside from the occasional spin off title with Mario Party or whatever sport Mario decided to play, most characters were stuck inside their games. Aside from Pokémon of course, but it’s always been a different franchise entirely. You would have some typical merchandise but not as much as you would think.
This idea started to change somewhat with Metroid: Other M followed later on by Hyrule Warriors. Other M took Metroid in a new direction. Hyrule Warriors took Link and other Zelda characters and put them into the Warriors franchise. It was a cool way to see Link and other characters with more of a focus on taking out lots (and lots) of enemies.
Last year, Nintendo announced they would be working with Universal to create some theme park attractions. Now this year they are going to release multiple mobile apps? Or at the least announce them. We will get more information on the NX this year. They also plan to work toward more movies and also anime? Super Mario Bros. 2 here we come! In all seriousness though, it is a bit strange we haven’t seen more in other mediums for Nintendo and some of the video game industry’s most memorable characters.
Nintendo has always gone their own way. We shall have to see if that obsession with quality translates to the other mediums they look to expand to. What are your thoughts? Any surprises here?