Nintendo To Start Making Games For Phones

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 18, 2015 in Videogames |


I have never understood the people who think Nintendo, a company that has only ever made games for its own systems, should put their games out on phones. Never mind the fact that their development style doesn’t fit the mobile market at all, or the fact that they’d be competing against themselves: how are you supposed to play games like Mario, designed for precise buttons, with an inherently imprecise touchscreen? Some people don’t care, but it’s the kind of design mismatch that I’d imagine even Steve Jobs would have disapproved of. Nintendo still refuses to put their existing games on phones, but they have just announced a partnership with DeNA, a Japanese online company responsible for the Mobage mobile game platform. That’s right: Nintendo is finally making games for phones.

It’s important to note that none of their old games are going on the system, so you won’t be playing the original Super Mario Bros. on your iPhone. (And why would you do that, you monster?) Instead, Nintendo will be making new games using their existing IP. So far, so good; as long as you’re developing a game for a phone, you can make design decisions that will best suit the hardware and its input methods. What’s more concerning is that DeNA’s Mobage games are free-to-play, one of the worst, most anti-consumer monetizing methods in recent history. These are games full of paywalls, pay-to-win DLC, frustrating energy/time bars, and randomized purchases (think collectible card booster packs) — the kind of games designed to milk as much money as possible out of you instead of just letting you buy and play the damn thing.

So far, Nintendo has been putting out DLC and online content on its systems that offers meaningful content at reasonable prices. I’d say we have nothing to worry about, if Nintendo hadn’t just put out Pokemon Shuffle. This 3DS game is a free-to-play puzzle game designed to waste your time unless you cough up some cash to move things along. I’d normally say that Nintendo could safely work with DeNA without compromising their principles, but I fear they’re more willing to do so then I previously thought.

Regardless, hopefully this is just some offshoot content that can easily be ignored if it turns out to be a money grab. Nintendo has confirmed that they are still in the console business. As if to ease concerns, CEO Satoru Iwata announced that they are already developing a new “dedicated game platform” codenamed “NX.” There is speculation that the next Nintendo console could share an OS or system architecture with their next handheld, to unify development. Either way, I wouldn’t expect that for a while, even with the Wii U’s troubled sales.

Source: Kotaku


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