Nintendo Stock Price Falls 18%; Refuses to Bring Mario To Smartphones

Published 1 year ago by

Nintendo Super Mario on Smart Phones

Last week Nintendo released its year-end financial forecasts and while we knew the numbers would look rough for the Wii U, it was worse than we were led to believe on all fronts. For the third year in a row the big N is reporting a major financial loss, this time at $336 million.

They had forecast the Wii U to sell 9 million units for the last fiscal year and it only sold 2.8 million. As for the more popular 3DS, it was expected to sell 18 million but only sold 13.5 million. Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata apologized for the “failure” of the Wii U and said he would stay in his position until he could turn things around. As a result of the news the stock price plummeted 18% before bouncing back up slightly and it could get worse if Iwata’s words about the future hold true.

There are a few key titles headed to Nintendo platforms this year, including a new Mario Kart, the long-awaited Smash Bros. and a new Donkey Kong title, but these titles have to compete against a large number of high-buzz triple-A and indie titles coming to the PS4 and Xbox One by the end of the year (but not the Wii U). Nintendo’s king in the mobile console market and for a long time analysts and developers have suggested that it’s a no-brainer for Nintendo to expand its reach to include smartphone owners.

Nintendo Stock Prices and Profits Fall

Something as simple as releasing NES/SNES/N64/GameCube console games and handheld titles from older Game Boy and DS generations for small prices could put the brand, characters and franchises in the eyes of millions of Android and iOS users and help built interest for the future but Nintendo is inexplicably reluctant to do so. Even as a result of the poor financials and investors hoping for a Sega-style level of change in tactics for Nintendo, Iwata made the following statement:

“The spread of smart devices does not spell the end of game consoles. It’s not that simple… It doesn’t mean that we should put Mario on smartphones.”

While there’s something to be said about Nintendo sticking to their guns, their reliance on age-old franchises, despite poor financials, reduces developer interest meaning few new IPs, lesser third-party support and less games overall. If less young gamers are interested in Nintendo properties now, how will Nintendo properties bank on player nostalgia in the future?

Taking into account how long it takes the big N to release new installments in their own top-selling and most popular brands, the Wii U’s future doesn’t look promising even if Iwata believes great software can move their hardware. Still, Nintendo is failing to capitalize on their mobile game development skills, innovative thinking and brand recognition by not expanding when they so easily can and it could spell doom for their future. The fear is that releasing Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, etc. on smartphones would hurt 3DS sales, but they don’t have to release the newest 3DS titles. Why not release older popular hits? Rockstar and Square Enix are doing it on the regular with older Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy titles, respectively.

Nintendo 3DS XL Colors

The 3DS, even though it missed its mark by 25%, was still the top-selling console in 2013. Nintendo promises to surprise fans in the future (we hear this every year) and are reportedly investing more in R&D. Looking at their recent showcases at E3 and their disappointing and lackluster first-time appearance at the Spike VGX in December and it’s hard to get excited about his words.

Tell us your thoughts on theories on how Nintendo should attempt to profit from their brands! Should they start getting their popular older and mobile games on the larger smartphone market?


More: 2014 is Make or Break Time For The Wii U


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: WSJ

TAGS: 3DS, Gamecube, Nintendo, Wii, Wii U

  • Serge hernandez

    Honestly..I’m getting tired reading post about Nintendo losing a lot of money..N why’s that? Because they’re so stupid!..throw away the rock you’re under and open your eyes,making games only for kids it’s OVER! You better wake up and realize that you’re making a huge mistake..if you really want to back to the better start making games for player who’ll buy your games..US! The adults.we need to see blood,aggressive games,no games where u need to collect coins or rings or who knows what,,we need reall GAMES! Got that Nintendo..wake freaking up!

    • Daniel Carlson

      sounds like thats what YOU want. If YOU want those games,you can buy an xbox or a playstation. or look for the games with what YOU’RE looking for on the wii u. they exist but you have to get off your lazy ass and google for them 😛

      • Shalkowski

        Although I do think what he is suggesting is a little far, Nintendo should try and make a more serious Mario game. They have created this huge amazing world and they haven’t gotten any deeper than “oh no Peach has been kidnapped”

        • stretch

          One of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. You need to actually play Mario and figure out that the game is 100% about gameplay. He’s a plumber doing backflips that grabs coins. Does that sound like a character that needs an emotionally driven story behind him???

          • Shalkowski

            Did I say emotional? No. I said deeper. Give back stories to all of the characters. Get a little more of an immersive story.

      • Serge hernandez

        Well..let me tell you.that I have both consoles..I’m just not crazy for the nintendo’s..again,because those games are just for comment it is just a way to see’s just a thought..if they really want to back to track,they should do something new,stop games with Mario or Zelda..N yes..I’m very happy with my xbox 360 and ps3-4.. I’m just saying.

        • Frayzure

          Really, Nintendo’s console is just for kids? Do you have any IDEA what the target age of shooters like CoD, Halo, and even BF are? It’s gonna shock you! 10-17 is what they shoot for. BF is normally played by an older crowd though. And it’s people like you with your “it must have blood and gore to be adult” mindset that causes games that lack those qualities to be written off as a “children’s game”

          • Serge hernandez

            Well..I guess I used the wrong words..I didn’t mean “blood and gore” what I meant was that they need to make games more serious and quit with Mario ,star fox,donkey kong and Zelda or at least make them more interesting that repetitive..and nope..I’m not surprise with those kids playing halos games or trashy COD.. Dude..the comment I posted it wasn’t to offend nor the nintendo’s staff or nintendo’s need for you to get’s just the way I see it..peace.

    • stretch

      Gamers like you are the problem. That’s why we have garbage franchises being praised over games with real substance like Nintendo develops.
      Blood and gore are important? Go work at a butcher shop. Real gamers want games that are fun.

      • Serge hernandez

        You know what mister “I love Nintendo and will die playing Mario’s games” just keep your comment and move on if you’re not happy with what u read.

    • lloyd

      Blood and aggressiveness doesn’t make a good game. You’re probably one of those guys who keep buying Call of Duty even though it’s the same crap each game.

      • Serge hernandez

        Hell no! I’d never spend not even 1 dll on a game like that (COD) that’s a trashy game that I’ll never buy or play..thank you very much.

  • Serge hernandez

    That’s what they need and since that president doesn’t know what he’s doing.then change it..I’m sure there r other people smarter than him with fresh ideas.

  • Shalkowski

    Nintendo just needs to suck up their pride for a second and sellout just a tad. The arrogance they have is unreal.

    • Serge hernandez

      100% agree with you.

  • Daniel Carlson

    Mario isnt gonna save the company. why is it always mario? i get that it’s their mascot but its always mario but that isnt the only thing they make. Also mario wouldnt do well on phones. that market is already flooded with bad platformers that dont work well. And nintendo is right; putting their IP’s on mobile would hurt the value of the product. why make a good zelda/metroid game when youre gonna be making (at most) 20$ a game (and thats being REALLY generous). the mobile market is like the communist russia of games. Why make a good game when the payout is the same no matter what (assuming youre a well known developer.) Another good point to make would be why make a NEW game when you can change the color pallet and rebrand it with a new name and title. Just look at angry birds… and every spin off… and re-release they have come out with on EVERY platform.

  • Omar

    It would be great if nintendo realese pokemon and mario on smartphones i would defenetly buy them.

    • Serge hernandez

      Me too!

  • dan

    What Nintendo needs to do is put R&D into a new console, NOW, drawing on input from the well known developers that they’re hoping to attract. And support WiiU until new console ultimately arrives. Then, showcase the lineup of those IPs that are in their arsenal.

    They’re not out of the game, but they need to make a play and they need to make one soon.

  • Batman

    If you want old games on a phone, you get an emulator. Nintendo shouldn’t be making things on smartphones, and I don’t know why a gaming news site is complaining about that.

    • Sweetjumps

      Usually when a company puts out an older game for a phone they do more than just emulate the old version. They optimize it for the smart phone and it works really well just like the sonic games Sega has been putting out on smart phones

  • Sweetjumps

    I think they should bring g their older games to smart phones and tablets. I have sonic, sonic 2, and sonic cd on my note 2, and they are super fun. When I play them in public people are always like “holy crap I didn’t know they had those on android, I gotta get those”. I think the same would work for nintendo

  • yodarlz

    I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. Big N should stop hardware (atleast console), and focus on software. They should go 3rd party, maybe even 1st party. You know how much Microsoft/Sony would pay to have Mario on their consoles? Or to have exclusive rights? They would give their first born sons for that oppritunity! Microsoft could purchase N for 1.4 billion, and make up that purchase within 2 years.

  • COREY_1993

    i dream of the day when i can play mario on a sony system XD. if wii u and the next console doesnt take off then i can see a handheld only company and/or nintendo goes multiplatform with their games.

  • CoDroStyle

    I think Nintendo need a new IP.
    The author is correct in saying that if they can’t hold people’s interest now. What chance do they have of having nostalgia in the future? And no offense but that’s Nintendo main market. Nostalgia.

    They have also failed to break into multiplayer markets. Which is where the real replay value of games comes in.

    Can you imagine if super smash bros of online service. 5v5. .. Maybe even ranked ladders. .. would be massive.

    But it won’t. And they won’t put it in because they never do anything new.

    Nintendo are going to fine the lo selves having to sell Mario to stop themselves going bankrupt soon if they don’t change their business plan.

  • patrick

    cheaper wii u bundle WITHOUT the stupid gamepad. there is no reason they can’t get the hardware to work without the stupid gamepad. they’re just being arrogant and stubborn. i desperately want to play mario 3d world and pikmin and windwaker but i’m not giving you money for a stupid controller i don’t want. and oh man mario kart 8.

    • Shalkowski

      Uuhhhh pro controller?

  • SlayerScythe

    Saying no to bringing out old games on the mobile platform is the same as saying “we don’t want money”. It’s stubborn and silly. Release the old pokemon games on phones, tie it in with the upcoming pokebank, instant connectivity with the current gen of pokemon. Make more money off the old games and encourage people to buy the new games and a 3DS as well.

  • boba

    I honestly feel that nintendo needs to start making its game for not just Nintendo exclusives, they need to offer games like Mario or Zelda on systems that clearly have surpassed them in capabilities. Sure nintendo will be fine for now, but still i feel they really need to start making these games available to PS4 and XBone players, they would make millions if the release Orcarina of time with the computing power of the PS4 and xbone graphics cards.