Nintendo Will License Their Characters Out For More Than Just Videogames

By Ishaan . January 29, 2014 . 8:27pm

Going forward, Nintendo will make more active use of their character I.P., Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said during a financial results meeting today.


“I think the reason that Nintendo is now considered to have this ‘abundance of character IP’ is perhaps because of our passive approach toward the character IP licensing business, which tends to have a high risk of damaging the value of the character,” Iwata shared with investors and analysts.


“In other words, we think that spending time to develop our approach of having our characters appear mainly in our carefully selected games has created our current fortunate circumstances. However, we are going to change our policy going forward.”


“To be more precise,” Iwata elaborated, “we will actively expand our character licensing business, including proactively finding appropriate partners. In fact, we have been actively selling character merchandise for about a year in the U.S. Also, we will be flexible about forming licensing relationships in areas we did not license in the past, such as digital fields, provided we are not in direct competition and we can form win-win relationships.”


Iwata concluded: “By moving forward with such activities globally, we aim to increase consumer exposure to Nintendo characters by making them appear in places other than on video game platforms.”


Image from Kid Icarus: Uprising promotional animated series.

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  • Earthjolly

    Oh god. Another mario movie inbound *shudders*

    • revenent hell

      Mario had a movie O_O
      OMG how unaware am I?

      • BaoZakeruga

        Don’t you dare google search it. I’m doing you a favor ._.

        • revenent hell

          I wont. Im not that big of Mario fan but still I should have been aware of it being made……I cant imagine its remotely good lol

      • BossBullet

        It’s a 1993 movie.., live action.

        • Jason Ryer

          Nothing even relative to mario but theres a better ova online.

        • Isaac Argesmith

          There’s also this, which ACTUALLY does make it clear it’s MARIO and not whatever that one live action thing was.

  • Fire Emblem Awakening anime. Do it.

    • kylehyde

      This 100% agree with this.

      • PreyMantis

        I 110% agree with you to 100% agree with that.

    • revenent hell

      I would watch it if done right… Though much like movies I think most anime that follows a game tend to be bad…..

    • AuraGuyChris

      With fully-voiced support conversations!

    • But this idea makes too much sense!

    • Nanashrew

      Believe it or not but there was a Fire Emblem OVA before. Don’t watch the english dub though since they translate Marth as Mars.

    • That probably wouldn’t be a good idea because every single person has a different opinion on who should be paired with whom. You’d never satisfy people by taking that option away, because you’re betraying their memory and experience of playing Fire Emblem Awakening.

      • Yeah, that could be a problem. They could just have non-marriage supports for the characters, and just tie the children to their mother only (maybe hints of the father, but never outright said). I don’t know, that’s still stretching it, but one could hope.

        • Hair color would give the fathers away.

          • Linhua


          • Fairlee

            we can always have the mother’s hair color

          • Ric Vazquez


      • Grape Monet

        I dunno, Persona 4: The Animation handled it pretty well, there’s no reason they couldn’t do it with Fire Emblem.

        • Persona 4: The Animation was also pretty terrible. It tried to squeeze an 80-hour game into a single anime season. :(

          • Pegasusu Fantaji (Umar)

            Thank god I wasn’t the only one that thought that. I love P4 but man the anime was horrible

          • Grape Monet

            Well, I liked it.

          • Gyro Zeppeli

            It was two cour actually, but still sucked. Looked bad too, that was some terribad animation there.

          • hng qtr


          • shafiq95

            i wonder where chie was supposed to be sitting

          • Virevolte

            In the room, but then, there wasn’t enough colour in the bottom of the screen, so they add her.

            (Nothing official about that, just my opinion.)

          • hazelnut1112

            Not enough Chie.

          • hng qtr

            They had to compensate the depressing lack of Naoto in that frame. I’m more of a Rise man though.

          • Hound

            Chie is ninja like that. Something she picked up from kung-fu movies.


            it was one cour if you’re a little older :p

          • Shippoyasha

            I thought it was okay but mostly as fanservice just to hear the old cast again. The animation could have been better but it had its moments. I almost felt the same way for Danganronpa. It was cool fanservice even if you really ought to play the core games.

          • God

            Terrible? TERRIBLE?! If you want a truly HORRIBLE anime adaptation, go watch the Disgaea anime… at least P4 Animation had funny moments and a metaphysical representation of 0 fucks given for a main character!

      • XypherCode

        Well there are a lot of VNs that made it into Animes. And most of them, the main char didn’t even choose who’ll he/she pics or to be paired with. Nintendo could tweak Awakening a little bit and the Main char (not Chrom) won’t even have to choose who he/she’ll be paired with. Well that’s just me.

        • Lumi

          And those VNs anime usually went the “something from all routes” path. If we do that for FE A it’ll be chaos because there’s like n squared possible pairings here. And the problem is, the main focus of the story isn’t relationships, but you can’t have it without relationships

          • XypherCode

            Place him in a harem position and that might solve things. XD

          • Lumi

            Chrome’s harem is pitifully small… Unless you have the MU as th center of the harem. But that will raise the question of feMU vs maMU

      • Spider-Man

        Maybe I want to watch a shipping war, Ishaan?

        • I think you’ve let Doc Ock lounge around in your head a little too long…

          • At least they seem to be fixing that!
            Also, I forever appreciate that you keep up with comics (still. Even though the big two sometimes seem not to want our money).

          • I know, right? I mean, sure, if you want to get rid of Peter in one continuity for a while, okay. But then they killed him off in Ultimate Spider-Man, too!

          • I know! Even though I’m glad that Marvel isn’t being as outlandish and upsetting as DC, I wish they wouldn’t pull stunts like these. My faith in them has wavered much lately.

          • I’ve never liked Joe Quesada’s approach to Spider-Man. Every since the marriage retcon, I’ve stopped reading Spider-Man entirely and stuck to Ultimate. But then they got rid of Peter in that, too… ><

          • I don’t like Quesada’s approach to anything, hehe. I’m sorry, Ishaan. ;u;

            It’s a scary time to be a comic fan right now, huh? I have given up all hope as far as Wondy goes with DC (and any marginalized character really).

            At least Peter will be coming back! Do we know who the writer will be, by the way?

          • Spider-Man

            L-Low blow…I’ll be back in April!

      • I’ll just ship every pair – that way, MY FLEET SHALL NEVER BE SUNKEN!! Nyahahahaha~!!!

      • I think the Amagami anime had a clever way of handling that? Or at least, one of my friends kind of implied that; showing each/alternate routes with an episode or two. But I guess that might be difficult to do as far as managing plot vs romance and all.

      • Yan Zhao

        Or!!! Everyone can just have a harem/poligamy and share the goods, hohoho.

      • Serge

        I don’t know, Ishaan. We already have light novels adaptation of Fire Emblem’s games and they focus in the story and character development and not so much in the relationship between playable characters.
        They can tie the children to their mothers and we already know that Sumia is the cannon wife of Chrom.
        They did a good job with Fire Emblem Thracia 776, Sacred Stones, Rakka no Ken, Blazing Sword, etc.

    • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

      heck yeah

  • Kango234

    GOOD, I’ve been saying for years, that they have a gold mine of IP that could rival Disney or Looney toons. Now they just need to hand it to the right people.

  • Scissors

    I wish they would consider making Kid Icarus into a full anime, I enjoyed the shorts. The Palutena one about the vegetables in particular was my favorite.

    • mojack411

      Palutena was way too damn adorable in all of those. I think I would have a heart attack if they made it into a full series.

      • Scissors

        So that’s why Nintendo is thinking of expanding into the health and quality of life business. They’ll give us heart attacks, and then they’ll treat us. THEIR PLAN FOR WORLD DOMINATION HAS BEEN REVEALED!!!

    • Only if SHAFT is in charge.

      • Shippoyasha

        We can expect *some* head tilting..

        • Ric Vazquez


    • Lucky Dan

      Love Plus Game: Nintendo Edition where you can date Peach, Rosalia, Zelda and Pultena with a secret character the rejected Daisy who has been shoved to the side to make way for the new princess Rosalia and also Medusa when you get all girls to max.

      BTW what happened to the Ooudan and Elite Beat Agent series they just like died for some odd reason

  • LexKitteh

    I really wish I could watch the Kid Icarus anime shorts again. Make them purchasable, Nintendo!

  • BossBullet

    Advance Wars Anime? :D
    Please Nintendo

    • Call of Duty: Advance Wars

      • BossBullet

        You just crushed my hopes.
        Oh well maybe someday :P

  • Repede91

    I would shell out $90 or so for quality figures of each playable Pokemon heroine! Some Starfox, Metroid and F-Zero plamo would be nice too.

  • EinMugenTenshin

    Behold, this is the end of all Peach hentai!

    • Repede91

      The end?! This is just the beginning…

      • EinMugenTenshin

        Haha, touche. Good point! ^_^

        Though I suspect the super mario crew keep there involvement hidden at the very least.
        *Satoru does the Mr. Burns evil fingermovement while he things about this new source of income*

  • Jrocy247

    Star Fox Anime? Fire Emblem Anime? Kid Icarus Anime? I want it noooooooooooow!

    • PreyMantis

      Smash Bros. anime!

      • Jrocy247

        But we already have that anime….It’s called Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de

        • Kango234

          Why am I JUST NOW hearing about this!

        • Göran Isacson

          Question- has ANY new episodes been released since the thrid one? That’s the last one I saw, and it was like… months ago.

          • Jrocy247

            Nope, there were only 3 episodes….And thank god it was, it was getting a bit stupid in all honesty

          • Göran Isacson

            Haha, so they actually cancelled it after just three episodes? man that plot was nowhere near done. Cannot believe I wasted my time on it.

        • PreyMantis

          It’s not the same, though… I was thinking more of Subspace Emissary with the actual characters when I meant Smash Bros.

    • Detrimont

      there already is a fire emblem anime

  • konsama

    Mario bros costume for CoD obv.

  • William Carpenter

    Really, really hope Archie takes the initiative and tries getting Nintendo to sign off on a comic adaptation of one of their games. The Mega Man and Sonic creative teams have said many times in the past that they’re very interested in doing so, it’d just be up to Nintendo. Seems like the time for such a venture is now…

    • Mecha_the_Hedgehog

      My guess it will be Dark Horse that Zelda book they published made them a large amount of money for them. With Dark Horse losing the Star Wars brand there looking for a good evergreen property to replace it and Nintendo I think would be a perfect replacement. Also Nintendo has already worked with them before. I would kill for a Metroid book like the Zelda one.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    Light novels seem popular…not sure which Nintendo franchise has a lot to write about. Fire Emblem? Legend of Zelda? Not adaptations of games, maybe some original stories…

    • Grape Monet

      Urban Champion. Yes.

      • hng qtr

        Urban Champion manga by Hiroshi Takahashi.

        • 愛憎

          He would be the go-to-guy, but he’s got enough yankī series.

  • idrawrobots

    Bring back Nintendo Cereal!

  • Michael Connell

    Dare I hope for a revival of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show? lol

    • grayson gee

      As much as people enjoyed that show as little kids. That show was terrible.

      • PreyMantis

        But, but… What about Mama Luigi?

        • idrawrobots


        • 愛憎

          “Mama? Maaaamaa Luigi? Pfffhahahahaha.”
          Also, “It’s a rock, Luigi. You didn’t make it.”

      • Michael Connell

        Would you have preferred a Captain N revival? lol

        • grayson gee

          After looking back and seeing what they did to Pit(who was called Kid Icarus because apparently show makers don’t do their research) Mega Man, and Simon Belmont. I would gladly like that series to never see the light of day ever again.

      • KuroNathan

        but… do the mario! swing your arms from side to side!

  • Mental

    Y’know, uh…as bizarre as this sounds I think this could help with Nintendo’s sales.

    I mean, there’s no denying that the Pokemon TV series had a significant effect on the franchise.

  • PreyMantis

    SUPER SMASH BROS. ANIME! Sorry… I just can’t contain myself with this possibility…

  • grayson gee

    So does this mean Nintendo will start actually producing shows beyond just friggin’ Pokemon? Like I said YEARS ago. The only reason why I think Nintendo hasn’t started doing this since the 80s is because of the representation their characters got. I mean, look at Link in his show and Pit in the Captain N show. They were awful representations. Now I think they can avoid that by finding people who have actual talent. And hey, they could always get the people who made those Kid Icarus promotional animes to do some stuff. Heck, get those people who make the Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS CGi trailers to start making animated films to compete with the likes of Pixar. All in all, if we don’t get a direct this month, this makes up for it.

    • PreyMantis

      Well, there was that Kirby: Right Back at Ya! shown in 4Kids TV.

      • grayson gee

        I know and it was pretty good.

    • Göran Isacson

      I can still hear “Excuuuuuse me, princess” when I close my eyes. It just… it just won’t leave.

  • Auvers

    When it comes to making movies, shows, or comics for the characters I think it depends how much input they have in it. All the good or decent adaptations seem to usually have some input from the people in charge of the series like the Professor Layton and Ace Attorney films. The Sonic OVA had them on as producers if I remember right and I’ve seen stuff about Sakurai having input on things for the Kirby series.

  • Eder García

    well… they are not going far, in the videogames department, SMT X FE and Zelda Musou are examples of what Nintendo are going to do with their IP’s from now on, i don’t think Nintendo will let Capcom use their IP’s for a fighting game crossover, but maybe we are going to see Nintendo characters in crossovers like PxZ or Super Robot Wars.

    • PreyMantis

      Oh, man… Just imagining those doll robots from X in SRW just gives me the chills.

    • If Pokkén Fighters is real, they’re making a Pokémon fighting game, probably in collaboration with Namco.

      • Ethan_Twain

        Didn’t you just say a few weeks ago that maybe Namco Bandai should reevaluate their Tekken and Soul Calibur brands since they haven’t been too hot lately? Maybe Pokemon is exactly what they need :)

        • I actually think it might be the other way around in this case. Soulcalibur has certainly seen better days, but Tekken has always been very popular, especially in Asia, both on consoles and in the arcade scene.

          It’s a mutually-beneficial opportunity, I think. Namco gets to play with a popular license and Nintendo gets to expand Pokémon into yet another genre, using an existing brand that’s already popular in said genre.

      • Eder García

        i mean fighting game crossover, sorry for not being clear

        • Oh, I know… but well, Pokkén could either be a game filled with Pokémon, or it could be Pokémon X Tekken. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

    • BossBullet

      How can Nintendo characters be in Super Robot wars? As I recall there weren’t much tanks or robots in Nintendo games.

      • idrawrobots

        Custom Robo, Chibi Robo, R.O.B, X, Mario-Minis

        • How dare you forget Mecha-Ridley.

          • Eder García

            in b4 Ridley is too big

          • BossBullet

            But he is the right size tho

          • neocatzon

            Nothing is too big for SRW, TTGL has that potential. But, why no Diebuster..

          • idrawrobots

            Sorry. Oh and Metroid, he’s pretty cool.

          • :|

        • BossBullet

          Man forgot those, thanks for reminding me.
          Man, I can’t believe I forgot custom robo it was my favorite. :(

      • Eder García

        advance wars has tanks, problem solved

        • BossBullet

          man i keep forgetting about that, since I just said that a minutes ago.

      • Lynx

        4 words:

        Samus is a Tekkaman.

        • idrawrobots

          Maybe I am just completely clueless, but Tekkaman, like Tatsunoko Tekkaman is in Super Robot Wars?

          • BossBullet

            SRW J if it helps

          • bassgs435

            also in SRW W

          • Lynx

            Tekkaman Blade, actually.

            It was in J and W.

            Not “SPACE LANCE!” Tekkaman but Toshiyuki Morikawa voiced Tekkaman who broke several microphones doing the first Blaster Voltekka.

        • BossBullet

          that reminds me i should play SRW J for Burning Gundam

        • Isaac Argesmith

          Makes me think of Japanese Spiderman.

  • Khoko

    This is the best idea and one that I’ve been saying they need to do for a long long time. Nintendo has been far too closed off for way too long. Imagine a top quality Zelda anime. Think of games made in partnership with Nintendo that use Nintendo characters. Like the new Hyrule Warriors game maybe a long and in-depth Zelda RPG. This can only do good things. This can’t hurt them.

    • Lumi

      And maybe even a ufotable!

  • epy

    This just in: Nintendo, in their desperation, just lent the rights to a still undisclosed Holywood studio for a Zelda movie, We expect it to surpass Dragon Ball in every single way.

  • Pegasusu Fantaji (Umar)

    Would actually watch a Sci-Fi Metroid series

  • LonelyGuardian

    Intriguing…There was a F-Zero anime for awhile back around 2005ish. It would be beneficial perhaps to have a strong anime series for either an original IP and incorporating a game series with it, or a quality produced Zelda, Mother, Kid Icarus, or any other strong series.

  • SirRichard

    I’m actually kind of surprised that Nintendo haven’t been as nuts about licensing things out as you’d think a company with so many IPs normally would, although they’ve slowly started doing it lately with figurines and the like. Maybe we’ll see a full-length anime of something at some point?

    • Isaac Argesmith

      Blame the 80s and 90s when they did that in America.

  • Shippoyasha

    I hope this means Wreck it Ralph 2 has Nintendo characters in full force, not as silent background characters.

  • Warboss Aohd

    in the immortal words of Dr. Weird. “IT BEGINS!”

  • TempestTwin

    They should turn Pokemon Adventures into an anime and get rid of the crap with ash ketchum. That and give us super mario bros movie 2, they need to fill in the cliff hanger they gave us at the end of the film.

  • hazelnut1112

    Can’t wait for the new Metroid movie to finally happen.

  • Tonton Ramos

    Custom Robo Anime please…

  • James Enk

    if they are handle with care we may see great stuff

  • artemisthemp

    Could this mean Link in Soul Calibur 2 HD?

  • Göran Isacson

    I am a fan of this decision. I can understand why it took them some time: memories of what happened last time they lent their IP’s to licensing in the old days, the long long ago days of the 80’s early 90’s. Young ones, if you wish to have a glimpse of those old days simply find an older gamer and out of nowhere, say “Well excuuuuuuse me, princess” as obnoxiously as you can. I can’t guarantee your safety if you do, however…

    Then again, that was AGES ago. New times require new plans. renting out their characters so that other companies can do different games with them? I’m in. Zelda Warriors, Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei, that rumoured Pokemon fighter by Namco, it’s aaaaall good. Kid Icarus game made by Platinum? heck, I know I’d buy that!

  • Chaos_Knight

    Kid Icarus anime? :D

  • Guest

    I’m looking forward to what type of content we get…
    Endless Ocean anime?, Chibi-Robo musical Broadway play?, Ice Climbers CD-Drama?, Totakeke light novel?, Kirby Hollywood movie?, Takamaru Netflix original show?, Mach Rider live action?, Geist manga?, StarTropics webcomic?

    Seriously though, a Wonderful 101 anime could be great!

  • Ric Vazquez

    I smell anime adaptations inbound. Maybe I’m wrong but only time will tell.

  • Brimfyre

    I went to theme hotel for families a few months ago with my wife and kid and was pretty stunned by how many kids dress and wear Mario themed merchandise.
    Way moreso than when I was a kid, where wearing such things would get you labeled a nerd. Kids of all gender and age were sporting their Mario gear with pride.

    So Nintendo is still a brand that very much resonates with the youth, but for some reason it isn’t translating to sales of consoles.

  • tridus

    Are we going to get another TV Show like the Super Mario Brothers Super Show?

    Oh god.

  • Morningstar

    It actually makes sense. Look at how popular Pokemon has been. The popularity was cause by both the games and the anime (and maybe Special as well)

  • Spirit Macardi

    This could be good, but I don’t want to see someone make a CGI cartoon where Mario is a teenager in a futuristic city, Peach doesn’t exist, and Bowser is his best friend.

    Honestly I’d love if they did a second Kirby anime series! They only fought Nightmare last time, so they could do other villains this time around like the Dark Matter or Marx. Bring back Eric Stuart as Meta Knight and you have perfection x3

    • epy

      Dammit… Peach not existing is a good thing though. I’m torn.

  • NimbusStev

    Can’t really damage the value of Mario more than Nintendo already has. There are like 10 new Mario related games every year.

    I’m hoping this means we’ll see a new Star Fox game done by a 3rd party developer.

  • Kazekage Gaara

    Make more Nintendo anime or something that way Pokemon isnt alone :D

  • DCBlackbird

    You mean they haven’t already?

  • Vash bane

    sounds like they plan to make anime’s

  • Oni Ishida

    Give me an animated Metroid movie.

    Have it done by Madhouse.

    Mamiko Noto as Samus.

    Have FUNimation license it.
    Chris Sabat as Samus. Because he voices everyone.
    Hell, FUNimation doesn’t even HAVE other voice actors, it’s just Chris Sabat, doing what Chris Sabat does best: being Chris Sabat.

  • Isaac Argesmith

    Make an anime or at LEAST animate that Nintendo Power Mario comic, it was actually pretty good, or do something like it.

  • Anthony Hadow

    Problem is I only want the game. There are other people who are going to feel the same way. Why should I buy the toy, or stuffed animal when I own the video game?

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