DeNA has 10% of games staff working on Nintendo projects

Around 100 people are currently involved, but that number could rise if necessary

DeNA has committed 10% of its game development staff to work on titles for its partnership with Nintendo.

In a briefing with the company's investors, DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu said it had around 100 people "directly participating" in the Nintendo Alliance, out of a total Game & Entertainment Business Unit workforce of more than 1,000. Moriyasu reiterated that the partnership remains a "high priority" for DeNA, and that it would allocate more resources to it if necessary.

The Nintendo Alliance has produced two games so far: Super Mario Run, which was poised to top 150 million downloads across iOS and Android when DeNA published its full-year results in May; and Fire Emblem Heroes, the performance of which "satisfied" the company's management.

A mobile version of Animal Crossing is scheduled for release before the end of the fiscal year, but DeNA still has the capacity to develop between five and ten other titles outside of the Nintendo Alliance. Speaking to investors in May, Moriyasu said that "average" cost of development for a new game was ¥500 million $4.5 million.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, DeNA's games business earned ¥101.4 billion ($915 million), down 7.%5 year-on-year. However, the segment's profits rose 9% to ¥28.3 billion ($255 million).

Nintendo has said that the commercial performance of Super Mario Run did not meet its expectations, despite the huge number of downloads. It seems likely that the game would have earned more revenue with a more typical implementation of the free-to-play model, but Nintendo has stated a preference for Super Mario Run's "free-to-start" approach.

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