Mike Salbato
Nintendo & DeNA to Collaborate on Mobile Gaming Service
The power of the Mushroom in the palm of your hand.
03.18.15 - 5:10 PM

Yesterday at a joint press conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, Nintendo Director and President Satoru Iwata and DeNA CEO & President Isao Moriyasu announced a business and capital alliance to develop and operate new games and a membership service worldwide. This alliance began in 2010 when the two men began discussing the possibilities of such an arrangement, which will result in a stock exchange of 22 billion yen between the two companies. Specifically, Nintendo will acquire 15,081,000 shares of DeNA (which equates to 10% of its total stock), while DeNA will acquire 1,759,400 of Nintendo's shares (which is 1.24% of Nintendo's stock).

Nintendo and DeNA

Any and all of Nintendo's properties will be eligible for this new partnership, through the companies specify that they intend to develop all-new experiences for smart devices, to provide games optimized for the platform, versus porting console or handheld titles. Nintendo points to the difference in control methods and overall experience as their reasoning for this; anyone who has tried to play a platformer with a screen full of virtual buttons will understand this.

The games in development will be revealed at a future time, though with DeNA's experience in creating strategic titles and more, it's not hard to imagine a mobile title based on the Zelda or Fire Emblem universes. Or, if we can dream, Advance Wars. Wait, do we cover Advance Wars? I guess not, but I'm sure plenty of you enjoy it, so there it is. In the Q&A session following the press conference, Mr. Iwata alluded to the fact - but did not explicitly confirm - that we should see the first titles released in 2015. Additionally, the two companies are not aiming to release merely "1-2" titles per year, so it sounds like we could see a fair amount of titles being released, which would be more in line with a mobile company like DeNA.

In addition to the games themselves, Nintendo and DeNA are building a new membership service that will be accessible on the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, smart devices, and PCs. The service is scheduled to launch this fall.

Fascinatingly, Mr. Iwata mentioned a new hardware project codenamed "NX" is in the works, but we might not know anything more about this project until 2016. "NX" will also utilize the new online service.

As always, we'll bring you more concrete news, specifically on any RPG titles that may be born from this arrangement.