Nintendo's new President Shuntaro Furukawa who's set to start leading the company next month is eager to invest more in mobile games and build on the existing Android and iOS portfolio the Japanese entertainment giant created in the last several years. In an interview with Nikkei, Mr. Furukawa said that out of all the segments in which Nintendo currently has a presence, "smartphone games are the ones I want to expand the most." Following the death of Satoru Iwata in 2015, Tatsumi Kimishima took the reins of the Kyoto-based firm and led it to a more mobile-focused gaming strategy that resulted in hits such as Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and — by far the most successful one of all — Pokemon Go.
'Pokemon Go,' which transformed the story and gameplay for the smartphone, became a huge realization," Mr. Kimishima told Nikkei. Nintendo is now consequently searching for a hit of similar magnitude, though both its outgoing and incoming chiefs agree that repeating such a level of success will be difficult. Pokemon Go is estimated to have been making tens of millions of dollars per day at its 2016 peak, having surpassed $1 billion in revenue 15 months ago, with the latter figure being cited by app market research firm Sensor Tower. While the late Mr. Iwata historically opposed the idea of Nintendo moving into mobile space due to the possibility of such a strategy devaluing its console IPs and possibly even directly hurting the sales of its portable consoles, his stance on the matter weakened near the effective end of his tenure and Mr. Kimishima ended up greenlighting the company's first significant investments in Android and iOS games. Mr. Furukawa is hoping to bring that mobile commitment a step further and eventually turn Nintendo's smartphone efforts into a "100 billion yen" ($910 million) business.
Nintendo is presently working on Mario Kart Tour racer and Dragalia Lost RPG, both of which are set to be released on smartphones and tablets over the next twelve months. The company is also said to be developing its first mobile game based on The Legend of Zelda series that was originally planned for a late 2017 launch but ended up being delayed for unknown reasons.