Iwata Speaks Out on Skylanders and the Future of Nintendo Figurines

Perhaps a hint of Nintendo’s plans for E3?

By Jake Shapiro. Posted 05/15/2014 13:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

After the recent announcement that Nintendo would be working on its own line of NFC (near-field communication) figurines to compete with the staggering success of Activision’s Skylanders series, it was only a matter of time until company president Satoru Iwata elaborated on the project. At a recent financial results Q&A, Iwata finally spoke out on the figures:

“As for utilizing character figurines, Activision has released video game titles from the Skylanders series over the past three years and Disney Interactive released the software title, ‘Disney Infinity,’ last year. Both video game series are compatible with character figurines and have created an extremely large market for these products.”

It’s not Nintendo’s style to play follow-the-leader with gaming trends, but the Skylanders/Disney Infinity phenomenon targets many of the same kids Nintendo is trying to court. In addition, these games have already been great money-makers as third-party releases on Nintendo consoles, and it’s only logical that the company would want to get a larger slice of that pie with a first-party release using figurines of Mario & Co. Despite Skylanders not being a huge success in Japan, Iwata-san recognizes its appeal in the West:

“In the overseas markets especially, a huge amount of space has been allocated to those product lines at retail stores with a large market presence. Our primary focus, however, is not to develop software that is compatible with figurines. Rather, we have been developing figurines since last year because we believe there may be different approaches or ways to appeal to consumers by using them, and this could also be one way for Nintendo to utilize its character IP.

“The titles we are preparing to show you at E3 vary from being nearly complete to still in the early phases of development but with the core of its appeal noticeable. Therefore, our strategy of focusing on software has not changed.”

This could be a hint that Nintendo’s presence at E3 this summer will highlight the new figurine project, but it’s reassuring to hear Iwata say that producing quality software is still Nintendo’s core strategy. What do you think of the announcement? What would you like to see in a line of Nintendo figurines? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Siliconera

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