Reggie Fils-Aime: We’ll Combat Mobile Gaming with Our Franchises

The Nintendo of America President plans to show Apple his Pokemon.

As we discussed in Mashcast #28, a recent study conducted by Flurry found that iOS and Android have combined to capture 58 percent of the 2011 on-the-go gaming market. That sounds bad for Nintendo and Sony, who combined to sink their teeth into 42 percent of the market. AOL Games recently caught up with outspoken Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime and questioned him as to the 3DS’ viability as a platform when facing such stiff competition.

First, I haven’t seen the study, and Flurry is a company that consults app developers. So, as we look at our range of companies where we trust their data, and they have a methodology that makes sense–I just can’t speak to the data. And I can’t speak to the motivations of the company, as they are not a pure research firm. Having said that, the way that we compete is that we compete with our franchises, we compete with our differentiated experiences and we compete by giving the consumer the best value for their money. Nintendo has always been a mass market company. Even from back in the days of the NES, we always want as many consumers to jump into this industry that we love called video games, and to maximize the breadth of our reach. And the only way we can do that is great games, great experiences, differentiated experiences at a great value.

Reggie may be onto something with the line of thinking that Flurry is not exactly the most unbiased of sources for such data. As it just so happens, Jarret, Rob and I rose that exact same point during when we discussed the issue during the Mashcast. In fact, Flurry’s own website boasts that they are in the business of increasing “the size and value of mobile application audiences.” And that they have already assisted more than 50,000 companies in over 100,000 applications across iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone platforms.”

That doesn’t sound like much of a neutral analytics research firm. It sounds more like a marketing agency serving the interests of mobile application producers. Flurry’s pie charts also conveniently lump iOS and Droid together while separating the 3DS and PSP. (I mated them together earlier in this article for fairness sake). On top of all that, the study also neglected to take into account that the PSP is a system on its last legs – its successor, the PS Vita, is launching in February. Putting all of that aside, the numbers are still a bit troubling for dedicated gaming handheld manufacturers if they are indeed accurate.

Reggie doesn’t sound too concerned, however. It’s his job to make things look rosy for the Big N, but he again brushed aside the thinking that Nintendo should jump on the mobile bandwagon if it wants to remain at the top of the portable gaming market.

“First, we’re an entertainment company,” he said. “We don’t make devices for the sake of making devices. We make our hardware in order to bring great entertainment experiences to life.”

In closing, he said that “the concept of having our core franchises on other systems really flies in the face of what we believe in, and that’s because by understanding the hardware, that’s how we’re able to bring these great experiences forward.”

The 3DS stumbled out of the gate when it launched earlier this year, but Nintendo recently predicted that the device would have a better year sales-wise than the uber-popular DS. It remains to be seen, though, if Mario, Link, Samus, and company can keep the Kyoto, Japan firm atop the handheld gaming market where it has stood since the original Game Boy released in 1989.

[Source: AOL Games Blog]

[Image via Game Guru.]

Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo

MASH Veteran

Nick has been a gamer since the 8-bit days and a member of the MTB editorial team since January of 2011. He is not to be interrupted while questing his way through an RPG or desperately clinging to hope against all reason that his Philly sports teams will win any given game he may be watching. Seriously folks, reading this acknowledges that you relieve MTB of any and all legal liability for his actions.

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