Mobile Best Practices (and What Nintendo Is Up To)
In January of 2014, Nintendo’s former President and Chief Executive Officer Satoru Iwata (Iwata passed away in July of this year) told press that “…Nintendo’s intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices.”
At that time, it was clear that Nintendo (even though the company’s financial forecast was – and is – somewhat bleak) had no intention to break into the mobile market. This is in stark contrast to recent news that Nintendo is, indeed, moving into mobile.
Why did the company decide that mobile was the right path to take, and how does Nintendo’s current mobile strategy match-up?
Nintendo’s Current Plans
Nintendo is notorious for keeping future plans under wraps, but what can be gathered so far is that the company does have mobile plans (of a kind) in mind. Nintendo representatives have told press that the company wants to release five games by March of 2017. The March lineup will start with the game Miimoto, which isn’t want Nintendo fans had in mind when wishing the company would go mobile (think more Super Mario Brothers and less strange avatar world).
Nintendo’s mobile strategy seems odd and forced, and not at all what Iwata’s original vision of the company’s future looked like. Additionally, the company’s plans are guarded, but that might not be because Nintendo wants to keep secrets – it could be because the company doesn’t really have a strong plan in place. A fly by night strategy might not be the best way to break into mobile.
What Nintendo Could Have Done Better (Or Mobile Best Practices)
The one thing companies moving to mobile with success have in common is a plan. That might seem simple, but without a solid plan a company can easily get lost in the mobile shuffle. Here are some other things that need to be in place in order to make it when it comes to mobile.
1.Content that people want. Do Nintendo fans really want Miimoto? Or, are they looking for Nintendo classics instead? Content is still king in the mobile world.
2.Specific mobile features. How will Nintendo’s five projected games mesh with the mobile world? Will these be played on a handheld device or new console? Will smartphones play into the scene? These details are shady at best.
3.Give your audience something real. Nintendo’s Miimoto description is puzzling. In almost every way, the game doesn’t sound like a game at all. The game’s premise is to build a social work with avatars, but it includes a lot of in-app purchases too. It’s easy to see why critics of the game are calling this game a cash-grab.
4.Have a mobile purpose. Where is Nintendo going with this mobile plan? Why go mobile at all? What does the company’s mobile future look like? There are so many questions here (too many, really). Without a purpose for moving towards mobile, Nintendo’s upcoming five games may just be lost in the shuffle – or, worse, never make it to mobile at all.
If your company is planning to move towards mobile (a good idea if the above steps are seriously considered), don’t take cues from Nintendo. Stick with your guns, stick to a plan, and keep the best mobile practices in mind.