My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: @DeNACorp and Nintendo partner for Smartphone and Tablet Games - Partnership to boost Mobile Games as VR and AR Beckons in 2016


Friday, March 20, 2015

@DeNACorp and Nintendo partner for Smartphone and Tablet Games - Partnership to boost Mobile Games as VR and AR Beckons in 2016

Nintendo has finally come to their senses as it relates to the smartphone and Tablets as a lucrative Platform for Gaming.

On Tuesday March 17th 2015, Nintendo announced an alliance with Japanese Mobile Gaming firm DeNa to bring their Console games to smartphones and Tablets as announced in the article “Super Mario to go Mobile as Nintendo ventures into smartphone games”, published Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:38am EDT by TEPPEI KASAI, Reuters.

The announcement of the partnership made during the joint-press conference between Nintendo and DeNa as detailed originally in “Nintendo and DeNA Form Business and Capital Alliance”, published March 17, 2015, Globe Newswire, will also see the two companies taking a US$181 million (22 billion yen) stake in each other’s businesses; that works out to be 10% of DeNa and 1.24% of Nintendo.

DeNa will help to port Nintendo existing portfolio of Games to smartphones and Tablets in a deal that began as talks in the Summer of 2010 but became more serious in 2014 as noted in the article “Nintendo Partners With DeNA To Bring Its Games And IP To Smartphones”, published  Mar 17, 2015 by Jon Russell, Techcrunch.

DeNa and Nintendo will also launch a cross-platform service later in the Fourth Quarter of 2015 that'll allow gamers to play games across a range of devices, including Tablets, smartphones, Set top Streaming Devices and Nintendo Gaming Handhelds and Consoles as stated in the article “Nintendo is making smartphone games with Japanese Mobile giant DeNA”, published March 17, 2015 03:36 am By Sam Byford, The Verge.

DeNa president and CEO Isao Moriyasu was clearly excited about the partnership as noted in the article “NINTENDO IS FINALLY BRINGING MARIO TO MOBILE PHONES”, published 03.17.15 by CHRIS KOHLER, Wired , quote: “I believe teaming up with Nintendo is the best possible strategy to achieve growth in DeNa’s core business of Mobile Gaming. I grew up playing Nintendo games, and I’m already excited that I will soon be able to play Nintendo IP games on smart devices”.

Nintendo 3DS against the Ropes - Partnership with DeNa to boost sales of Mobile Sales

Nintendo's decision is clearly financially motivated and is long overdue as the Handheld Portable Gaming world is slowly dying as long ago predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Nintendo and Sony vs Smartphones and Tablets: Post - Portable Gaming Era”.

Weak fiscal earnings as announced in January 2015 say Nintendo reducing their operating earnings target for the fiscal year through March 2015 to $169 million (20 billion yen). This was mainly due to weak Wii U and 3DS, their portable Gaming Console that failed to sell during Christmas 2014.

With budget smartphone sales set to rise in 2015 based on the stats of analysts IDC and Gartner as concluded in my blog article entitled “Gartner and IDC Forecast Tablets, PC fall, Smartphone rise - How Tablet's 3-Year Lifespan means Sub-US$199 Smartphones, Chrome OS to Dominate”, this decision was inevitable.

The announcement of a new Gaming console, codenamed NX, was also announced. But as no details were provided, this is the only line I’ll mention it in until further details emerge.

DeNa and Nintendo - Partnership with 16 year Web and App based Gaming Veteran as VR/AR Beckons

DeNa is the perfect partner for this venture.

DeNa began in 1999 and built their multi-billion Gamin empire over the next sixteen (16) years through deals, partnerships and acquisitions. They came to prominence with the growth of web-based Mobile games in Japan and its Mobage service.

But like most Developers of Games, they began to realize that the two smartphone platforms, Google Android and Apple iOS and their App stores were a source of continued growth.

To that end they purchased Ngmoco for US$400 million, US$300 million in cash and US$100 million earn out in October 2010 as stated in the article “Done Deal" – DeNA To Announce Ngmoco Acquisition Very Soon (Confirmed), published Oct 12, 2010 by Michael Arrington, Techcrunch.

They soon acquired a Vietnam, Hanoi-based game studio with a penchant for Social Mobile Gaming, Punch Entertainment Company Limited, in September 2011 as stated in their Press Release “DeNA to Acquire Punch Entertainment's Vietnam Studio”, published September 12, 2011, DeNa.

More recently, DeNa announced a deal with console publisher Square Enix to launch a new Final Fantasy Mobile game, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper as reported in the article “Square Enix and DeNA announce Mobile RPG Final Fantasy: Record Keeper”, published February 26, 2015 7:30 AM by Dale North, VentureBeat.

In February 2015 DeNa has also launched Mobile Games based on the Transformers and Marvel franchise as noted in the articles “DeNA and Hasbro Launch TRANSFORMERS: BATTLE TACTICS Mobile Game”, published February 5, 2015, DeNa and “DeNA and Marvel Team-Up for Marvel Mighty Heroes”, published Feb 23, 2015 by Ben Morse, Marvel.

Still, their switch was not without problem, as DeNa took a hit, with revenues declining as follows:

1.      17% year-on-year to US$287 million
2.      55% decline in operating profit to US$43 million

Perhaps this partnership with Gaming Giant Nintendo will be the Gaming Profit Engine they need as they guide them towards the future of Gaming on Mobile Consoles.

Still, where is Nintendo on VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality), which even Google is showing interested in developing an Operating System for developing VR Headsets as stated in my blog article entitled “@google to develope Google @Android for VR - Why a VR and AR War is looming on the Horizon in 2016”?

Based on the announcement from MWC (Mobile World Conference) 2015, 2016 is looking like the Year of VR, starting this year with HTC, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung as noted in my blog article entitled “@Oculus Mobile VR Jam 2015 - How @samsung Gear VR is Gearing up for Competition in the VR and AR Space”.

More to come in another article.....

Here’s the link:
Dena Twitter Page: @DeNACorp

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