It could completely change the company

By Jonathan Chew
October 28, 2015

Nintendo is set to lift the covers off its eagerly-awaited debut into the smartphone gaming world, a move that could open a new revenue stream for the Japanese gaming giant.

The company has scheduled a meeting with investors tomorrow, said the Wall Street Journal, and many are expecting company president and CEO Tatsumi Kimishima to reveal the first significant details of the game, which will be developed with mobile game developer DeNA.

Gamers will be itching to find out which Nintendo character (an archive that features Mario, Donkey Kong and any from The Legend of Zelda) the company has chosen to build its first smartphone game around. Investors will be looking at the strategic purpose behind using smartphones to launch Nintendo’s latest games, as mobile games could be a way to serve as publicity for its next generation console, said to be currently in development.

“One strategy might be to use smartphone games not primarily to earn profits, but to boost awareness of game characters, which could drive sales of console games in the future,” Hiroyasu Eguchi, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told the Wall Street Journal.

Any new business segment could drive earnings for Nintendo, which yesterday reported an operating profit for the first half of this fiscal year, the first time that has happened in five years. However, even though hit games like Splatoon and Super Mario Maker are revitalizing sales of the relatively stale Wii U console, the company’s earnings fell short of analyst forecasts.

Earlier this year, Nintendo announced it would release five smartphone games by 2017, and the first one is said to be due by the end of this year. Upon hearing that news, Nintendo’s stock went up by 24% on New York intraday trading, as investors reacted to the unexpected turn-around after the company had for years refused to enter the smartphone arena.

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