Interview

Industry moving away from Nintendo, but calls to switch business to mobile are 'lunacy' says Hogrocket's Ben Ward

Giant should license IP to third parties

Industry moving away from Nintendo, but calls to switch business to mobile are 'lunacy' says Hogrocket's Ben Ward
Most of those offering their take on investor pressure for Nintendo to develop on iOS have pitched it as an either-or situation.

If Nintendo adopt iOS, they allege, their position on 3DS will be weakened, and even fewer consumers will be coerced into picking up the device.

Hogrocket co-founder Ben Ward, however, doesn't see things so black and white.

Speaking as part of our sweep of developer opinion on the news, he described any wholesale move into mobile as 'lunacy', but acknowledged there is room for Nintendo make an impression on the smartphone market in some shape or form.

Transitional tales

"I think this story summarises the transition of our industry perfectly," Ward told us.

"Nintendo, who just a couple of years ago were on top of the world with the success of the Wii, are suddenly finding themselves struggling to meet expectations with their new flagship product.

"It's the same story with many of the traditional developers, and now it seems that even the platform holders are having to look at their own businesses a lot more closely."

However, despite the firm's newly weakened foundations, simply ditching 3DS to make a splash on iPhone would be a flawed strategy.

"Calling for Nintendo to suddenly switch their business from console to mobile is lunacy," he added.

"They have decades of experience doing their own thing, and their Wii strategy proves that they can be agile enough when they need to be."

Dual strategy

Ward, who has plenty of console experience himself having served at Bizarre Creations, believes there's still money to be made on handheld, but wouldn't rule out an appearance by Nintendo on iOS at the same time.

"Despite Apple's successes, there is still a traditional video games market and there is still a lot of money to be made from it," he concluded.

"However, rather than switch entirely perhaps there is merit in licensing some of their properties to these platforms?

"In this new world of social marketing and consumer empowerment, having a smash hit on iOS is likely to raise the sales of Nintendo platforms rather than cut them.

"If Nintendo balanced their offerings between their own consoles and upstarts like iOS I could see them achieving even greater mindshare than they have right now."

You can read other developer's opinion on the prospect of Nintendo making a move on mobile by clicking here.

You can find out more about Hogrocket on the studio's website.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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