Nintendo’s Pop Fizzles After It Squashes Multiplatform Talk

Nintendo’s shares rose as much as 4.9 percent today after investors got their hopes up that the game company had changed its policy regarding developing games for mobile phones.

But no such luck. We won’t be seeing Super Mario Bros. on an iPhone or Android phone any time soon.

The speculation was triggered by the announcement that Pokemon was launching a game on the iPhone this summer, and Nintendo owns 32 percent of Pokemon.

But the stock lost nearly all of its gains after a Nintendo spokesperson clarified to Bloomberg that the company’s strategy to develop software only for its own hardware “hasn’t changed and won’t change.”

In June, Nintendo’s Global President Satoru Iwata was very clear about that policy in an interview with AllThingsD at E3.

The company may be experimenting with new hardware, like the new tablet-shaped controller for the upcoming Wii U, but it draws the line at leveraging emerging platforms, like mobile or social, or new business models, like free-to-play games.

“I’m not interested in offering software for free of charge,” Iwata said through a translator. “That’s because I myself am one of the game developers, who in the future wants to make efforts so the value of the software will be appreciated by the consumers.”

Iwata said the revenues that Zynga — and platform-makers like Facebook and Apple — are generating will not change his mind.

“If we are going to destroy the value of the game software — once we have done so, it’s a difficult job to recover from that situation,” he argued.

Nintendo traded 1.2 percent higher to close at 15,610 yen this morning on the Osaka Securities Exchange.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik