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DeNA West CEO points to Kim Kardashian Hollywood as example of how its brand-meets-backend Nintendo deal could work

DeNA West CEO points to Kim Kardashian Hollywood as example of how its brand-meets-backend Nintendo deal could work

"I think this is potentially an opportunity for us to completely change the market."

That's what CEO of DeNA West, Shintaro Asako, had to say about the company's recent partnership with Nintendo.

Speaking during a fireside chat at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015, Asako referred to the partnership as a "huge, huge deal," and outlined the several ways Nintendo and DeNA play off of each other's strengths.

While Nintendo approaches games as a product, DeNA comes at them as a service, reinforced by its history as an ecommerce platform.

"Nintendo has by far the best gaming IP," said Asako. "DeNA's expertise is definitely backend."

Best of breed

Put these two together and you have a recipe for success, according to Asako, who points to the Kim Kardashian game as a prime example of how such a partnership can work.

Even with a fun game built in a good engine, discoverability can still be an issue. But attaching that game to a strong IP is an easy way to secure a massive audience.

It's worked at DeNA so far, at least. The company, founded in Japan in 1999, has partnered with Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney over the years to create top-selling games.

This is an opportunity for us to completely change the market.
Shintaro Asako

Asako names the deal with Nintendo as "the most crucial partnership" the company has ever done.

He also calls it a challenge, due to the massive expectations from investors, users, and the industry at large.

"People are expecting a lot."

Coming soon

Perhaps the bigger question, though, is when can we expect it?

According to Asako, the first game produced between Nintendo and DeNA will be out by the end of 2015 then four additional ones by the end of March 2017.

"We want to make sure out of those five IP that we can end up attracting hundreds of millions of people," said Asako.


Staff Writer

Chloi games, and Chloi writes, and at some point she made the dangerous decision of merging the two. Now she spends her time formulating words about weird games she finds, playing Dark Souls, and also playing Dark Souls.

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