Nintendo Joins Smartphone Era With Plans for New Games, Services

After years of scoffing at the threat from smartphones, Nintendo Co. is doing an about face and entering an alliance with Japanese mobile game company DeNA Co.
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After years of scoffing at the threat from smartphones, Nintendo is doing an about face and entering an alliance with Japanese mobile game company DeNA Co. to develop games for mobile devices. The announcement Tuesday means that Nintendo's trademark game characters such as Super Mario and Pokemon could finally feature on smartphones and tablets. Such characters have been fiercely protected by Nintendo, appearing only on Nintendo platforms such as the Wii home console and 3DS mobile machines. Both sides said they will build a global membership service for various devices including personal computers, smartphones and Nintendo machines. The service is set to launch in the fall of 2015. They said the mobile games won't be mere adaptations of the games already out for the Nintendo machines but developed especially for the smartphone experience. The alliance will be combining Nintendo's intellectual property and game development skills with DeNA's expertise in mobile games, the announcement said. Under the alliance, Kyoto-based Nintendo will acquire about 15 million DeNA shares or a 10 percent stake. In return, DeNA will acquire about 1.759 million Nintendo shares, or 1.24 percent of the company. Both acquisitions are worth 22 billion yen ($182 million). The payment is due April 2, they said.