Mario goes mobile: Nintendo to make smartphone games for first time

18/03/2015

In a major move for gaming fans, Nintendo is working with Japanese developer DeNA to develop new games for smartphones.

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However, the Japanese gaming giant said that it will only make new games, so existing games built for other Nintendo platforms like the Wii U and 3DS will not be transferred.

But thwe good news is that popular game characters such as Super Mario, Zelda and Pokemon will be part of the new range of mobile games.

The two firms also announced plans to launch an online membership service in the autumn of 2015 which will give members access to their accounts across multiple platforms, including smartphones and PCs.

"Nintendo's decision to partner with DeNA is a recognition of the importance of the games app audience to the future of its business," said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at analysts IHS.

"The Nintendo-DeNA alliance is a good fit and offers up a number of important synergies for two companies that are no longer leaders in their respective segments."

Last year, gaming apps were worth $26bn in consumer spend but handheld console games accounted for just 3% of that market, according to IHS figures.

"The main challenge will be knitting together the cultures of both companies and aligning the speed of development and iteration that is needed in the mobile space with Nintendo's more patient and systematic approach to games content production," added Mr Harding-Rolls.

"How the new games are monetised may also provide a challenge considering the general differences in models used in retail for Nintendo and through in-app purchases for DeNA."

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