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Nintendo and the mobile market

Nintendo, game business, mobile, mario.

Lucas Ribeiro, Blogger

September 15, 2016

3 Min Read

Why did Nintendo take so long to dive in mobile market?


   Nintendo was very present in the life of those who grew up in the 90s, and much of the public still nourishes true passion for the brand and its products. But what about the new generations? These kids playing on mobile platforms may not even have heard of the GameCube, Wii or 3DS, and they probably will not nourish love for the brand in the future because she didn’t nor do part of their reality.


   In my opinion, Nintendo has always been a "strange" company in terms of innovation. Not long ago, it was an industry icon innovation, launching the Wii that did not buy the fight of its competitors in offering ultra-realistic graphics, complex gameplay, huge and deep worlds. Instead, they decided to launch controls with recognition of movements, games for family and casual gamers with simple graphics, striking in their choice and selling more devices than the Xbox 360 from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 from Sony. They also launched the Nintendo 3DS, which was also a great success of the company and a sales success, reliving their good period of Game Boy - the first handheld video game, the company launched in 1989.


   On the other hand, Nintendo always recycled much of their franchises, using some to exhaustion, launches very few new franchises in the market, appears to show no interest in virtual reality at the time and had not launched any project in the mobile market, which was revolutionizing way people play games. About the mobile market, it’s changed at the last Apple’s conference, which took place on 7 September, when Shigeru Miyamoto (iconic figure of Nintendo, responsible for franchises like Donkey Kong, Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda) took the stage and presented the Super Mario Run with initial exclusive to iOS, being released for Android only next year.


   Nintendo, always refused to enter the mobile market, believing that it would dilute their brand, which makes sense, but that does not justify to stay away from an ultra lucrative market. They always strived to deliver superior and magical experiences for their players, and managed to do this successfully many times. Why not deliver a superior mobile experience to an audience that want it? Why not introduce franchises devoted to a new audience? Why not test new designs in mobile platforms, consider the reaction of the players and then develop them further in their games for consoles? Nintendo does not need to lose its magic in order  to enter the mobile world, and still has the chance to earn money and a lot of new fans.


   Nintendo lost many opportunities in the mobile market, much due to its directors and its former president, but now they seem to be changing their course, and presenting to the world and especially to a new generation, their franchises that are loved by many but unknown for many others.

   I love the Nintendo, they were part of my childhood, but seeing them lose so many opportunities, or take too long to embrace them, makes me wonder even when Nintendo will resist and will not be joining so many other companies that made history in the past, but due to difficulties to innovate and meet the market in their new demands were bankruptcy or are meaningless today.

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