This morning during a press conference in Tokyo, Nintendo and mobile gaming giant DeNa announced a new joint venture consisting of mutual investment and IP access designed to keep the Kyoto-based video game console relevant against the rise of mobile gaming. This will be done by developing all new mobile-first games using Nintendo’s vast library of characters using both companies resources rather than the often-suggested method of porting existing titles to mobile devices in order to stem competition from free to play games on smartphones.
The new venture will also see Nintendo and DeNa collaborate on developing a new online membership service that is accessible from smart devices, PC and Nintendo systems, such as the Nintendo 3DS portable system and the Wii U home console. The membership service is targeted to launch in the Fall of 2015.
Under the new mutual investment plan, Nintendo will acquire 15,081,000 of DeNA’s treasury shares, which corresponds to 10.00 percent of its total outstanding stock, for a total of approximately 22 billion yen (USD $181,350,620). DeNA will simultaneously acquire 1,759,400 of Nintendo’s treasury shares, which corresponds to 1.24 percent of its outstanding stock, also for a total of approximately 22 billion yen or $181,350,620 at the current exchange rate. The payment is due April 2, 2015.
In related news, the bodies responsible for rating console games in the North American Entertainment Software Ratings Board, European Pan European Game Information Board, and others have announced that their respective ratings systems will be adopted by the Google Play Store in their respective regions under the joint International Age Rating Coalition, in cooperation with the CTIA to standardrize ratings for mobile games on the storefront.
Google has also announced that mobile games published outside of the jurisdiction of the aforementioned ratings boards will be assigned a standardized rating for content grouped by age, with developers required to fill out forms for their existing apps, and will mandate all gaming/entertainment apps be rated starting on May 1.