Nintendo Denies Rumors of Smartphone Mini-Games, Millions of Voices Cry out and Are Suddenly Silenced
It's like finding out your princess is in another castle.
I’ve found myself in kind of a tough-love situation with Nintendo lately, and I become more convinced it’s what they need from me as it goes on. Today’s news that yesterday‘s news of smartphone mini-games from Nintendo was false breaks my heart and the hearts of Nintendo fans around the world, and that should tell Nintendo something.
Kotaku reported yesterday that Nintendo was finally going to get on board with smartphones in a meaningful way by providing story details, trailers, and even free mini-games to mobile devices. The report came straight from the fairly credible Japanese newspaper Nikkei, but don’t get too excited. While Nikkei said Nintendo would be unveiling plans by the end of the week, today Nintendo flat out denied that any of it was true.
With the massive disappointment going around the Internet over the denial, maybe Nintendo should take this as a cue that it’s something people would like to see. They didn’t even give a standard, “Nintendo doesn’t comment on rumors,” stock PR response. Then, I might have still had some hope. Instead, they said specifically that it wasn’t happening in a statement to Engadget that reads:
Nikkei’s article contains information previously stated by Mr Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo’s willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products.
However during such past announcements Mr Iwata has also stated that Nintendo’s intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices and as such, we can confirm that there are no plans to offer minigames on smartphone devices.
I’m sure stalwart Nintendo fans are going to feel compelled to tell me that Nintendo is going to be fine and they don’t need smartphones, and you can’t beat their games and solid franchises and all that fun stuff, but I don’t understand that mentality. Will Nintendo be fine if they don’t expand the way in which they market on smartphones by offering free mini-games? Of course they will, but I’m not OK with Nintendo being “fine,” and I don’t think any of their fans should be, either.
I want Nintendo to be great. I don’t subscribe to the idea that they should get out of the hardware business and make their games for other platforms, but what they’re doing right now isn’t exactly working. They have to start leveraging new technologies in a meaningful way that leads to console and game sales, and making use of smartphones, maybe the biggest marketing platform on the planet, to get people to want to play Nintendo games would certainly be a start.
Hopefully, they’ll reconsider their position at some point down the line. At least a “no” now doesn’t necessarily mean no forever.