Nintendo boss speaks candidly about smartphone games

Sunday, November 25th, 2012 8:34:07 by

Nintendo has no plans of turning its focus to the mobile and tablet platform regardless of the surge in the popularity of the latter in recent years.

The president of the Japan-based company Satoru Iwata told Wired magazine during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) earlier this year that he does not view a 99-cent Mario game as a great strategic decision.

Explaining his stance, the Nintendo boss said that sustaining the monetary value of a game at a higher level is crucial to keep the business rewarding.

He acknowledged smartphone as a great opportunity for the developers to show-off their potential and earning recognition as well as rewards for their skill.

The executive, however, is of the opinion that working on a 99-cent game for the smartphone will only end up decreasing the value of games.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing that amateur video game players are now given the opportunity to create their own work and sell it at one dollar,” Iwata told the site during E3 2012. “If you ask me, don’t you think Nintendo should sell Mario on a smartphone for 99 cents, I do not think the answer is yes. We really want to sustain the monetary value of game software at a higher level. Otherwise, we cannot make game creation a rewarding business.”

He further added that one of the biggest factors that separate console games from mobile games is that the latter is more focused on increasing the appeal of the platform that it is developed for, whereas the console games contribute to the health of video game industry, allowing it to survive and thrive.

The relatively low development cost of games for the smartphones allows them to be sold at a cheaper price, while the console game utilises resources worth millions and therefore forces the publisher to place a heavy price tag on them.

The difference between the prices becomes even more apparent when a 99-cent game is placed next to an AAA title with a $60 price tag on it.

While the growth of casual gamers is taking place at an extremely impressive pace, attracting even more publishers and developers into the space, the gaming industry in general finds itself staring at what seems like an imminent doom.

In order to survive, the industry requires innovation and games that carry enough value in terms of gaming experience and quality to justify their price and convince the consumers to make the purchase.

Nintendo’s attitude towards smartphone games does not come off as a surprise, primarily because the company has never been fond of following trends and always makes it own path to accomplish great things.

The company launched it’s first-ever HD console Wii U yesterday in North America.

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