Japanese video game maker Nintendo said on Friday it has teamed up with Tokyo-based online games developer Cygames, aiming to step up the mobile gaming business and reduce reliance on volatile console sales.
The Kyoto-based company will buy a 5 percent stake in unlisted Cygames, known for its blockbuster Granblue Fantasy game, for an undisclosed amount.
As part of the tie-up, Nintendo will release a jointly developed action role-playing game called Dragalia Lost for smartphones this summer, Nintendo said.
The game will be launched in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau at first, and later in North America and Europe.
Nintendo entered mobile gaming under partnership with online gaming firm DeNA Co in 2015 as part of an effort to stabilise earnings highly dependent on its volatile games console business.
It has since released several mobile gaming titles including Super Mario Run, using its popular Super Mario Bros characters.
Nintendo said on Thursday it expects operating profit to rise 26.7 percent in the year through March to a nine-year high, as its Switch games console maintains sales momentum in its second year.
The initial success of the hybrid home-portable Switch has boosted Nintendo’s gaming software sales and encouraged more third-party publishers to make games for the console, a cycle which could further push up console sales.
The Kyoto-based company also said it named Managing Executive Officer Shuntaro Furukawa as new president to succeed Tatsumi Kimishima, effective after the general shareholders meeting in June.
Nintendo will issue a new update to its iOS and Android game Super Mario Run on September 29th, which will include a new world, mode, and playable character.
The update will introduce a new mode called Remix 10, which randomly splices together 10 sections from the game’s various levels in quick succession and rewards players with rainbow medals. Completing the various stages will allow players to rescue Princess Daisy and subsequently play as her throughout the rest of the game. Players will also be able to unlock a new world called World Star, which includes nine new levels, enemies and some additional gameplay mechanics.
Polygon notes that there’s some other minor updates: players can get new items to put in their Mushroom Kingdom, and can listen to their own music while they play — when they do so, their runners will wear headphones. Nintendo is also temporarily cutting the price in half starting on September 29th through October 12th.
Editor’s note: Last week, Verge transportation editor Tamara Warren showed me a review of the Nintendo Switch by her eight-year-old son Benicio. Handwritten on ruled notebook paper, the critique showed gumption, vigor, and passion. As a craven and cynical editor, I was also struck by my good fortune: a Nintendo Switch review with custom art for nothing more than a box of popsicles. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity! So, I chomped on my Cuban cigar, spun on my fine leather swivel chair, pounded my mahogany desk, scribbled the page with absolutely vicious edits, and demanded a perfect revision by Wednesday. It’s my honor to now share the final draft. —Chris Plante
The Nintendo Switch is the new-and-improved game system for gamers like me. When I’ve gone over to my friends’ houses, I explored the Xbox, and PlayStation 3 and 4. But these game systems are nothing compared to the Nintendo Switch. My grandmother just bought me the game system this summer, because I got a good report card.
If you have an Xbox or a PlayStation, you can’t bring it on a trip with you. You have to leave it at home. But if you have a Switch, you can take it on the airplane. If you really want to finish something in your game, you can bring the Switch instead of leaving it at your house. The Nintendo Switch makes me happy, because I don’t have to wait to go home to play.
You can use multiple controllers to play with your friends. I mostly play by myself, and sometimes I play with my friends or my parents. When I was on vacation, I played with my friend Evan and it was really cool to have competition. It was the first time I got to play with another kid. I can’t wait to play with my best friends Liam, Shrey, and Jackson when we all get back from summer vacation and have a sleepover.
My favorite part of the Nintendo Switch is the graphics. These graphics are the best graphics I’ve seen Nintendo make. They have really good-looking colors, and the ideas are presented in a clever way.
My favorite game is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Some stadiums represent where the characters come from, like Yoshi Falls. Sometimes, characters decorate the tracks they sponsor, like Wario Stadium. Mario Kart has many new game modes, surroundings, and characters like Metal Mario.
Inside Nintendo Switch games, there are so many choices. In Mario Kart, there are three Rainbow Roads that are used on different grand prix tracks. There are many obstacles, such as the Venus Fly Trap. The obstacles really challenge you to finish in the top three.
In the game Arms there are characters like Max Brass and Ribbon Girl. Max Brass is my favorite character. He has a lot of muscle, but he can even beat a guy who has more muscle than him, like Master Mummy, because he has a super strong double punch. He bounces his opponent’s head against his chest, and then he slams a hard hit into his face.
Arms lets you choose different modes. I prefer Party Match mode because it has mini games, such as Hoops. I like throwing the player I am playing against into the basketball hoop. When I play Arms, I feel energetic and start bouncing around the room and waving my controllers.
There are many more games besides Mario Kart and Arms, but these two are the ones that I want to talk about. I am hoping to get Zelda on my birthday in September. The games so far are appropriate for young gamers in the world, and they are more fun than shooting games.
I support Xbox and PlayStation, but the Nintendo Switch made me feel like I was inside the game. I also love the Switch because if your mother or father doesn’t like the TV being on all the time, you can take it to your room to play. One night I even stayed up till 11:30 at night playing in bed.
Following Mario’s mobile success, Nintendo plans to release 2-3 new iPhone games each year
By Roger Fingas Wednesday, February 01, 2017, 06:41 am PT (09:41 am ET)
Fresh off announcing results for “Super Mario Run”—which for now remains an exclusive to Apple’s iPhone —Nintendo will reportedly be sticking to a schedule of just two or three mobile games per year.
The Japanese game-maker’s plans were revealed by Reuters, though no new titles were identified. The company is due to release “Fire Emblem: Heroes” for iOS and Android on Thursday, and “Animal Crossing” for iOS sometime in Nintendo’s next financial year, April being the earliest possible timing.
“Animal Crossing” was delayed this week for the sake of “Fire Emblem,” as well as the Android version of “Mario,” which should arrive in March.
The trio could potentially represent Nintendo’s mobile slate for 2017, though it might have room for one more if it doesn’t count “Mario’s” arrival on Android.
At the moment the company is focused mostly on the Switch, a new console also launching in March. The device can double as a handheld with a tablet-sized display, which should help unite Nintendo’s platforms.
The company is presumably limiting its mobile releases to avoid eating into its proprietary platform sales. Unlike other console makers, it typically turns a profit on each device sold, and relies heavily on first-party games to draw people in.
For the Switch, though, some 70 in-house and third-party developers are working on 100 games, and the catalog is likely to grow from there.
Nintendo has so far generated over $53 million from “Super Mario Run,” based off an unlock rate somewhere over 5 percent. While more than what analysts expected, CEO Tatsumi Kimishima is reportedly dissatisfied, having hoped for double-digit percentages.