Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said that Nintendo has carved out a niche with its business strategy, and it has never attempted to ‘imitate’ the path that other companies have taken (via VGC).
The new Pokémon anime will premiere on November 17, picking up from the story of the Sun and Moon anime with a new companion and new destinations. Then, Nintendo’s Tokyo store will open on November 22, one week after Pokémon Sword & Shield launches and the Pokémon Center Pop-Up London store closes its doors. Next year, the Super Nintendo World amusement park at Universal Studios Japan will open, and what’s more, a new Super Mario animated movie is planned for ‘around 2022’.
Just reading that leaves me wanting to catch my breath. Well, we’ve never known Nintendo to kick its heels and/or twiddle its thumbs. Interviewed by Time, Furukawa was asked whether Nintendo’s future plans for its intellectual properties were inspired by The Walt Disney Company. ‘We’ve never tried to imitate any other company,’ he answered, and explained that ‘the idea of using our IP in things like theme parks or movies is simply an extension of the philosophy we’ve had all along.’ President of Nintendo of America Doug Bowser credited Furukawa as an all-important bridge between the company’s past and its future.
‘Always keeping us focused on our north star to be a company deeply devoted to originality while constantly exploring new opportunities to share our iconic characters and our deeply immersive worlds with everyone around the world,’ Bowser complimented Furukawa’s dedication to Nintendo while also speaking to Time. Furukawa emphasised that the company must stick to its guns and not be afraid to trial new ventures.
Referring to its successful and diverse collection of intellectual properties, he said, ‘giving our teams the freedom to experiment with new ideas is something I strongly agree with. Expansion can’t happen without the freedom to try something new, and the courage to step into unfamiliar territory.’ Nintendo’s experiments do have a very good track record: the Nintendo Wii took the world by storm, the Switch and Switch Lite are selling incredibly well, and Mario Kart Tour was downloaded 10.1 million times on its launch day.
When the conversation turned to its mobile games and their monetisation, Furukawa explained, ‘that’s something that we decided on an app basis. It’s something we decide looking at the game content of each app, as well as the IP used and the player that we’re targeting. We also look at how we can best have the players enjoy the game, as well as how they would be comfortable in spending money.’
Tokyo’s Super Nintendo World will open in spring 2020, which coincides nicely with the Summer Olympics in Japan. Its Phase One includes a Super Mario Kart ride and an omnimover Yoshi’s Adventures ride, as well as a possible interactive bracelet that scores points for activities in the park and sends it back to the Switch.