Ian Livingstone: Nintendo risks losing an entire generation unless it works on other platforms

Firm's IP should be on 'every platform'

Ian Livingstone: Nintendo risks losing an entire generation unless it works on other platforms
Nintendo should take its games to "every platform" in a bid to ensure that an entire generation of gamers don't miss out on the Japanese giant's IP.

That was the take of industry veteran Ian Livingstone as he opened proceedings at Bristol Games Hub, a non-profit organisation designed to offer space for developers and academics in the South West of England.

Livingstone – life president of Eidos, and best known for his work on the Fighting Fantasy interactive book series  – used his speech at the event both to offer guidance for developers just starting out, and to give advice to one of the industry's biggest players.

IP is king

"Nintendo should have their IP on every platform," said Livingstone, arguing that strengthening IP should take precedence over the health of the publisher's platforms.

"Otherwise a whole generation of young people will miss out on their games."

It's no secret that gamers are now spending more on smartphone and tablet games than on traditional handheld games, and with Nintendo's deep catalogue of IP many would like to see the Japanese giant move into the mobile and tablet space.

Investors in the company have also previously called on Nintendo to begin work on mobile – calls that have become louder in some quarters during tough times for both the Wii U and the 3DS.

Nintendo, however, remains unmoved.

No surrender

"This is absolutely not under consideration," Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said of possible smartphone development back in September 2011.

"If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo. Having a hardware development team in-house is a major strength. It's the duty of management to make use of those strengths."

This was a stance backed up at the time by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.

"The concept of having our core franchises on other systems really flies in the face of what we believe in, and that's because, by understanding the hardware, that's how we're able to bring these great experiences forward," he concluded.

Sage advice

While Nintendo seems unlikely to take Livingstone's advice, the industry veteran also took time out in his speech in Bristol to trumpet the need for the business to foster talent at a young age at the education level.

He also stressed how crucial it is for studios to develop their own IP rather than focusing solely on work-for-hire.

IP is king, remarked Livingstone, and producing original content is the only way studios can produce lasting value within their own companies.
You can find out more about the Bristol Games Hub on the organisation's website.

Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.