Publishers Want To Bring Their Smartphone Games To Nintendo 3DS Says Iwata

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It’s happening. More and more publishers are considering bringing their smartphone games to Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed at a financial results briefing today in Japan.


This, Iwata says, is largely due to the success of Puzzle & Dragons Z in Japan. Puzzle & Dragons Z is an RPG adaptation of Gung Ho Online Entertainment’s immensely successful Puzzle & Dragons smartphone game, and sold 1 million copies on the Nintendo 3DS in less than a month.


“Now that they have observed the success of Puzzle & Dragons Z, the number of companies who have approached Nintendo with an offer to provide Nintendo 3DS with the titles which they originally designed for and grew on smart devices has been increasing,” Iwata said to shareholders and analysts.


“As this example illustrates, the Nintendo 3DS platform has already reached a scale with enough business potential for not only the titles invented for game devices but also the ones originally made for other platforms. With the overall software lineup, we aim to make this year and the next one a profit-generating phase for Nintendo 3DS.”


The 3DS certainly is at a point where experimenting with different business models has become a viable prospect in Japan. Speaking with Famitsu magazine, Sega producer Toshihiro Nagoshi recently stated, “In Japan, the most widely used handheld device is definitely the smartphone; but following that, it is definitely the Nintendo 3DS.”


As a result, Sega are experimenting with the free-to-play business model on the Nintendo 3DS. Their first free-to-play title on the device will be Initial D: Perfect Shift Online, which is slated for release in Japan this spring. After observing its performance, Sega intend to bring more free-to-play titles to 3DS in the future.

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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.