But now comes a a shift in thinking. According to a statement, the company said “all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration by the alliance,” meaning that all Nintendo characters should be on the table, from Mario to Zelda.
Investors certainly thought the news was good for Nintendo, which analysts have criticized as generally being too slow to building an online presence for its devoted fan base. Nintendo's stock was up more than 27 percent on the news during Tuesday’s regular trading, to $18.22 per share.
Still, the announcement doesn’t mean that the favorite titles from your childhood will be making it to your smartphone. The release makes it clear that “only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.”
The overall strategy seems to be to have mobile titles act as complements to the company’s main titles, possibly acting as a way to hook consumers into buying those more expensive and sophisticated games.
Nintendo has struggled a bit in adjusting to the new landscape of games, particularly the rise of mobile gaming, which has eaten into sales of games that offer lighter, family-focused fare that has been a linchpin of Nintendo’s catalog for years.
The firm initially struggled to sell units of its Wii U console, although it saw stronger sales over the holidays. It also recently celebrated its latest Nintendo 3DS as the best-selling portable video game system in the month of February, besting Sony’s PS Vita.
Nintendo has also been looking at new avenues of business, including a push into the smart health space, which helps consumers and their doctors measure various health statistics through software and gadgets such as the Wii Balance Board. The company also announced that it would build an “online membership” service on top of DeNA’s existing services that can be reached from smart devices, the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, as well as from PCs. That’s targeted to launch this fall.