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Iwata On Skylanders And Nintendo’s Figurine Business


Nintendo recently announced their “NFP” project, which will introduce toy figurines that can interact with the company’s games. In addition, the company shared other initiatives to help improve Nintendo’s business as well, such as utilizing the Wii U’s online features.


In light of these reveals, at a financial results Q&A with investors and analysts, someone in attendance asked Nintendo president Satoru Iwata if the company still believed in the concept of unique software driving hardware, given that some of these initiatives sound like they’re expanding outside of the software realm.


Regarding figurines, Iwata stated: “As for utilizing character figurines, Activision has released video game titles from the Skylanders series over the past three years and Disney Interactive released the software title, ‘Disney Infinity,’ last year. Both video game series are compatible with character figurines and have created an extremely large market for these products.”


“In the overseas markets especially, a huge amount of space has been allocated to those product lines at retail stores with a large market presence. Our primary focus, however, is not to develop software that is compatible with figurines. Rather, we have been developing figurines since last year because we believe there may be different approaches or ways to appeal to consumers by using them, and this could also be one way for Nintendo to utilize its character IP.”


Additionally, Iwata also reiterated once more that Wii U-specific games that make use of the Wii U GamePad will be revealed at this year’s E3. These games, he said, are being worked on by development teams under Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto.


“The titles we are preparing to show you at E3 vary from being nearly complete to still in the early phases of development but with the core of its appeal noticeable,” Iwata said. “Therefore, our strategy of focusing on software has not changed.”

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.