Mario doesn’t want anything to do with your iPhone.
Despite rumors, Nintendo says it doesn’t plan to make minigames for iOS or Android. Yesterday, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that the struggling Japanese gaming publisher will release free minigames on smartphones in an effort to promote its Wii U (which is a distant third in the home console race) and 3DS. Today, the company responsible for Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda is refuting that claim.
Instead, the company is claiming that Nikkei — and those that spread the Nikkei story — misunderstood Nintendo chief executive officer Satoru Iwata‘s statements in a recent press conference. Following a dismal quarterly earnings report two weeks ago, Iwata addressed a question about making games for smartphones. The CEO said that the publisher still doesn’t want to bring franchises like Mario and Pokémon to mobile devices, but he did express interest in leveraging smart handsets to promote Nintendo’s console products in other ways.
Nintendo claims that Nikkei is misconstruing that statement to imply the publisher will make minigames to promote its retail products.
The idea of Nintendo making games for smartphones is popular among Wall Street analysts who want the company to find new ways to bring in revenue now that its Wii U console performing poorly. Nintendo expects to lose around $250 million in net income for its fiscal year ending March 31.
“Nikkei’s article contains information previously stated by Mr. Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo’s willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products,” a Nintendo spokesperson said in a statement provided to Engadget. “However, during such past announcements, Mr. Iwata has also stated that Nintendo’s intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices, and as such, we can confirm that there are no plans to offer minigames on smartphone devices.”
Nintendo has repeatedly said it won’t make iOS or Android games. The proposition comes up at almost ever investor meeting the company holds, and it is a popular idea that analysts point to when they explain how they would “save Nintendo.”
Additionally, Nikkei has a strong track record of nailing these kinds of Nintendo rumors. In June 2012, after the newspaper reported that Nintendo was working on a larger 3DS, Nintendo said that Nikkei’s info was false. A month later, the publisher later released the Nintendo 3DS XL, a larger 3DS.