Time Magazine recently published an interview they conducted with Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America. Reggie didn’t discuss or reveal anything about Nintendo’s future game plans, but he did speak a lot about the biggest question mark in the company’s future: making smartphone games.
First off, Reggie stated that he’s perfectly aware how ultra-competitive the phone app market is, and how just sticking Mario in something won’t cut it. “We know that Mario and his ability to run and jump, to transform based on different items, that’s been optimized for a play-control approach that doesn’t exist for smartphones. And so for us, it’s not simply taking existing games and porting them over to smart devices as the answer. Our answer is to create new compelling experiences that leverage what smart devices do best.”
We only know about one of those apps: Miitomo, which sounds like more of a social media program than a game. But there’s a reason. “At its heart, people are using [smart devices] as a way to stay connected with others through a variety of different means. We think we can provide an experience that’s differentiated in the marketplace, and it leverages what the device does well. And certainly we will bring our best IP into the smart device world, but we’re going to do it in a way that leverages what those devices do, that enable a play style that makes sense. That’s what critically important to us.”
Reggie also remarked on the wild success of amiibo figures and how Nintendo will be looking at other ways to keep their properties in the public eye. “I dwell on amiibo because in many ways it’s reflective of where Nintendo’s going in the future. Leveraging our IP, leveraging our IP in a variety of different ways, whether it’s to drive our dedicated games business, whether it’s to drive our smartphone initiatives, whether it’s to leverage our partnerships with other companies like Universal Studios in creating unique attractions.”
Reggie also spoke about My Nintendo, the new rewards program that will be replacing the now-defunct Club Nintendo. it definitely sounds like the days of entering codes are over. “Playing a smart device app from Nintendo, it recognizes that you’ve done that and you’ll be rewarded for that activity. Purchase games for our dedicated game systems, My Nintendo will know, you’ll be rewarded for that activity. Play games, watch videos, conceptually go to Universal Studios, the thought process is that this is a more robust and sticky way for you as a consumer to interact with all things Nintendo, for it to be tracked, and then for you to be rewarded for all that activity.”
Read the full interview at TIME.com.