Nintendo: “No Connection Between Social Games And Nintendo DS Games”

By Ishaan . October 12, 2010 . 4:01pm

There’s a hypothesis that, as free-to-play social games on Facebook and other platforms become increasingly popular, they’re going to detract from the sales of traditional videogames. Speaking to his investors, Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, opposed this idea recently.


Iwata presented the following slide, showing the results of an annual Nintendo survey, to investors during a company Q&A:



The slide depicts people that play both Nintendo DS games and social games, as well as those that only play Nintendo DS games. You’ll notice the latter figure is the larger of the two. Nintendo investigated further to see if they could find data to suggest that users of social games were being drawn away from Nintendo DS software purchases by them.



The above chart depicts the average number (per consumer) of Nintendo DS software titles purchased in the last twelve months by those who only play DS games as well as those that play both DS and social games. Iwata points out that the chart seems to suggest the opposite of what people believe to be true — those that play social games are actually buying more DS software on average.


Iwata reveals that Nintendo conducted another investigation to check for a correlation between social gaming time and time spent playing DS games, and could find none in this regard either. He believes that the misconceived correlation between social and Nintendo DS games could be a result of seasonal trends as game sales typically tend to slow down during the summer across the board.


“However,” Iwata concludes, “We understand that there is a large amount of software which is allegedly free of charge, so we strongly believe that we have to maintain an environment where our consumers appreciate that our products are fun enough to warrant purchases.”


The caveat here, of course, is that Iwata only presented data pertaining to the Nintendo DS. Also, the data was acquired exclusively from Japan and not globally. 3,000 people is a significantly larger number than 700, though, which is the number of people the latest survey to establish a correlation between weakening “casual” games on consoles and social games used.


Charts sourced from Nintendo’s investor site.

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  • Buying more games? What? Both groups are only buying 1-3 games in 12 months, surely with the LARGE amount of games made available on the DS it would be larger than 2 games a year.

    I think the hypothesis is incorrect though, arent the majority of social gamers either playing these games in their college classroom/school/work setting where you cant whip out your DS and play it?

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    This chart neglects people who ONLY play social games, as well as time. How do the last 12 months compare to the 12 before that? What about the people who once played both and then switch to social only? They’re not here.

    Of course, this is for the investors, so…

    • Wow you want a lot of information, lol. Longitudinal study details would be beneficial at least…or even if it was spatial too

      If there are 132.04 mln DS units, I think the sample size is rather tiny and inappropriate, perhaps they should have aimed for at least 10k or 100K participants

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Yea. This seems like a quick and inaccurate scrape of info to make themselves look good.

  • I really dislike social games, they are just a really really worst version of games that already exist

  • What do they think Animal Crossing is?

  • Social games are huge right now. I probably would like them if I had that much spare time on my hands… But I don’t.

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