As the information flow from Nintendo’s recent Investor Financial Briefing has been quite steady and noteworthy, I decided to give a more in-depth analysis to hopefully keep you all well-informed. It is easy to run with the a lot of the earliest information that comes out via unofficial translations, but though many of those reports are harmless, some do need further clarification and even retraction at times. That is why sometimes I let a little time pass before posts like this one, so I appreciate your patience.
Now, as I went through the Results Briefing material I noticed several key points that really should be reiterated. In addition to the somewhat positive news in regards to the financial footing that the third fiscal quarter contributed to Nintendo, we also learned a bit about some of the company’s motivating desires and plans. The main theme is that Nintendo is actively working to expand the gaming community beyond simply repeat customers. They are continually trying to find ways to create new customers and lovers of games.
One thing that Nintendo is making a concerted effort to do is reach more female gamers (most specifically in Japan) in order to continue to boost Nintendo 3DS sales in the region. The approach being used is quite interesting and has shown positive results.
Through these activities, such as setting up a female-dedicated web site called “Nintendo 3DS for girls” and holding events at shopping malls and other facilities, we have feedback that indicates we were able to attract a wider generation of female consumers who previously had no interest in games.
I do believe this is an aspect of the gaming environment that falls in the area that most observers severely overlook. Many of the things that the company has done as of late such as launching “New” hardware, and things of that nature were in order to reach that far-reaching demographic that was not already playing the games on offer. This however was not what the naysayers and doomsdayers saw. Supposed fans decried the company as stupid, out of touch, and stuck in their ways. Meanwhile, the audience they were targeting was indeed coming into the fold.
Every single game that Nintendo makes may very well not be your game of the year, but that does not mean it is not for someone else. That’s why it is severely irresponsible for influential outlets to cast their opinions onto others without taking into account the existence of differing tastes.
Another great thing to note from the briefing is the performance of Splatoon (and Super Mario Maker) in regards to bolstering Wii U sales, but also in expanding the landscape of the gaming community, much like the efforts to bolster the 3DS. Splatoon has been an incredibly stable seller for the company, and that has been, in part, due to the expansion of the market.
It has gradually expanded even among kids and female consumers, and we expect more popularity due to word-of-mouth. We can say a good cycle has been established for this title.
One aspect of the business that has done extremely well virtually since inception is the amiibo line, both figure models and card-based. What is now a priority is finding ways to make sure that people are using the amiibo in fun ways beyond simply collecting them.
We will be proposing new ways of having fun with amiibo. The Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge present campaign started on January 28 in Japan. A ticket with a download code for Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge, which is download software playable on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems, is given out at stores for people who purchase figure-type amiibo.
As the briefing moved into the new services coming soon and the first mobile app through the Nintendo/DeNA partnership, we saw more of the framework being laid to expand. The power of Nintendo’s original IP, old and new, is great beyond measure. That’s why the company is doing so many things to leverage that power. They feel the more they utilize their IP to bring more awareness to the brand, the more new (and many former) customers they can introduce to the games that brought them to life.
The Club Nintendo replacement service, My Nintendo, will be be yet another means for customers to gain even more of a connection to the company and their games. This comprehensive service will be available to everyone with a Nintendo Account, and will be active globally in March.
My Nintendo will offer services which make Nintendo’s game experiences even more fun and more convenient, and that provide enhanced value for members.
We are planning to provide similar services for the new entertainment experiences that Nintendo will offer beyond gaming in the future.
Several of the new services that will benefit the Nintendo Account members, such as the “Recommended for You” program, the “Just For You Offer” discounts, and “Birthday Special Discounts” were outlined and show a very strong effort by the company to allow the fans to have a continuous connection regardless of the device.
As the My Nintendo system is rolled out for customers, there will be several key aspects that should be noted.
As I have written before, Miitomo will be Nintendo’s first foray into the smart device app market, and one thing that truly needs to be relayed to many people still is this first app was only ever called a game by those who misinterpreted what Nintendo often shared prior to its initial reveal and immediately following. The understanding should have been that as had always been shared, Nintendo was looking into the best ways to use the platform to possibly enhance their dedicated gaming device business by funneling the mobile customers back to the hardware and software for home and portable!
In Miitomo, your “Mii” look-alike character appears as your “alternate self” within your smart device.
All of you must have had the enjoyable experience of being prompted by a friend to talk about something that you might not normally bring up in the course of your conversation. Mii characters facilitate this kind of social play structure with Miitomo.
Unlike most communication apps, with which you are supposed to proactively dispatch your message, in Miitomo, talkative Mii characters will automatically spark unique conversations and help friends connect on random, fun and light-hearted topics.
I believe you will experience a fresh new feeling with Miitomo.
Following the release of Miitomo, Nintendo/DeNA will be releasing another several Smart Device apps (some of which are sure to be games) featuring Nintendo’s very popular IP.
As we have previously discussed, we are aiming to further advance our “gaming population expansion” strategy and aim to “grow the population who have access to Nintendo IP (intellectual properties).” To achieve this goal, our increasing the number of My Nintendo members will be one of the most important missions.
Accordingly, after the release of Miitomo in March, we will steadily release game apps for smart devices.
From there the major focus will be on encouraging as many customers as possible to be create My Nintendo memberships. Driving that number to over 100 million users is the company’s initial milestone.
We would like to set “100 million My Nintendo members globally” as our initial milestone. Since this number should be considered as a check point, we will make efforts in order to achieve this number at the earliest possible timing.
We believe that the bigger the size of My Nintendo, the greater the enjoyment and value we will be able to provide to our customers.
So much encouraging information came from this briefing and having the opportunity to see a glimpse of the future initiatives that the company is implementing is fascinating to me. When a lot of these things begin to roll out, it will be very interesting to watch them grow and flourish.
Are you encouraged by the information from the Investor Presentation? Will you be signing up immediately for the Nintendo Account and My Nintendo? Will you be downloading and using Miitomo at launch, as well?
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!