Nintendo and DeNA have entered into an alliance that will see classic Nintendo characters like Mario, Link, Donkey Kong and Samus coming to smart phones and tablets via apps. The news comes after years of speculation that Nintendo was looking to break into the popular apps market to broaden their world-wide presence. The move will see DeNA and Nintendo work together to create applications for smart devices and for the 3DS to ensure that Nintendo’s world-famous IPs find a while new audience.
The deal also indicates that both companies will create a capital alliance by trading stocks. The full press release is below.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. and DeNA Co., Ltd. today entered into a business and capital alliance to develop and operate new game apps for smart devices and build a new multi-device membership service for consumers worldwide.
Leveraging the strength of Nintendo’s intellectual property (IP) and game development skills in combination with DeNA’s world-class expertise in mobile games, both companies will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems business and extend Nintendo’s reach into the vast market of smart device users worldwide. Under the alliance, DeNA will also be able to strengthen its gaming business at a global scale by leveraging Nintendo’s IP. To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.
In order to create completely new game experiences for smart devices, all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance. As these consumers enjoy the unique kind of gameplay found only with Nintendo, they will have the opportunity to explore even more premium experiences on Nintendo’s dedicated video game platforms. Information on upcoming games and availability will be forthcoming.
Nintendo and DeNA also plan to develop an online membership service that is accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo 3DS portable system and the Wii U home console. The membership service, which is targeted to launch in the fall of 2015, will be built on DeNA’s extensive experience and capabilities in online membership services.
As part of the long-term relationship and commitment by each company, Nintendo and DeNA have also agreed to form a capital alliance. Under the capital alliance, Nintendo will acquire 15,081,000 of DeNA’s treasury shares, which corresponds to 10.00 percent of its total outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. DeNA will simultaneously acquire 1,759,400 of Nintendo’s treasury shares, which corresponds to 1.24 percent of its outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen. The payment is due April 2, 2015.
The deal explicitly states that DeNA will not port old games to smart devices, so we could see brand new games featuring Mario, Link and Pokemon on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices as early as fall of 2015.
Nintendo is known for their innovation and for pushing the boundaries of how players enjoy games. Being the first video game company to fully tackle the apps market looks to continue that trend.