Nintendo's CEO and president Satoru Iwata announced in an earnings call today that its first smartphone game — developed in collaboration with DeNA — will launch by the end of 2015.
The company plans to release five titles by 2017, and has made the necessary personnel additions to develop games tailored for smartphones. In March, Nintendo revealed its partnership with game publisher DeNA, which includes a cross-platform gaming service that will be available on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs, along with Nintendo's 3DS, Wii U and its upcoming NX gaming console.
Iwata reiterated that the upcoming games will not be ports of existing titles, and that they will be developed from the ground up:
If we were simply to port software that already has a track record on a dedicated game system, it would not match the play styles of smart devices, and the appropriate business models are different between the two, so we would not anticipate a great result. If we did not aim to achieve a significant result, it would be meaningless for us to do it at all. Accordingly, we are going to carefully select appropriate IP and titles for our smart device deployment.
Regarding the number of the titles, you may want to know that we will release approximately five titles by the end of the next fiscal year, which is the end of March 2017. You may think it is a small number, but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business.
Iwata stated that over the coming years, the company will be looking to smartphone games to generate a sizeable amount of revenue.