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Nintendo rules out move into PC publishing

Mobile push was made to help expand the console business, president Tatsumi Kimishima said

Despite its recent push into the mobile market, Nintendo has no plans to make its games available to PC players.

In the company's annual shareholder meeting, one question observed that Nintendo made games for console and mobile, but a third key market segment: PC gaming, which has "shown incredible growth." However, while Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima acknowledged the size of the market, he made it clear that PC is not a part of the company's strategy.

"We believe that the integrated hardware-software business is the best way for us to provide the surprises and new gameplay experiences that we want to achieve," he said, before addressing the obvious contradiction presented by the release of Miitomo, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android devices.

"Though the content and consumers playing the applications were different, each one was received extremely favorably," Kimishima continued. "Super Mario Run, for example, achieved 150 million downloads worldwide, and consumers who had never played our games before were able to experience our IP on their smart devices.

"We believe that we can further expand our core integrated hardware-software business by providing our software on smart devices and increasing the number of consumers who experience our IP."

The implication is that Nintendo does not see PC gaming as an effective method of expanding its console business. However, Kimishima later detailed the effort the company is making to open up the Switch to the smaller, indie studios that would target a platform like Steam.

"Indie development, or software development by individuals or small teams of developers, is becoming extremely popular, but developers must go through a wide variety of procedures in order to develop software, so we are taking initiatives to lower the procedural and cost-related difficulties," he said.

Among those procedures is employing a small army to debug software released on the platform, which one of the questions stated comprised around 300 people. "Our development environment is one of those initiatives," Kimishima said, "and I believe that the article you read conveyed that our framework is more than capable enough to handle debugging.

"We hope to maintain momentum for Nintendo Switch for a long time by increasing opportunities to build up various businesses on our hardware while simultaneously adjusting our development environment so that even small-scale developers who could not support us before can support us now."

At GDC this year, we asked independent developers about their experiences working with Nintendo Switch, to a largely positive response.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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