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As a company that has long been synonymous with games from its home console systems to handheld consoles to even the Nintendo 3DS family of portable systems as well as toys via amiibo NFC figures and a subscription service for kids – Nintendo has achieved decades worth of success. But for the past few years there have been some shakeups in their ranks.
What was once a President and CEO team in Satoru Iwata and Tatsumi Kimishima, has changed to the current President, Tatsumi Kimishima and a former Corporate Executive Vice President for Nintendo of America named Doug Bowser who was appointed as the new US President. The duo joins us for an exclusive interview talking about three specific topics.
One of the most exciting and intriguing is that Nintendo of America is moving into the theme park business with Nintendo Parks. The hope is to have a location in America somewhere by 2020.
Doug Bowser: “With respect to Nintendo parks, there are currently no plans to build them outside of Japan at this time. That being said, we’re constantly evaluating potential opportunities and have even looked at some sites here in the U.S. in the past few years. So, who knows what the future may hold.”
“With respect to our plans for theme parks we’re going to be leveraging a lot of intellectual property that we already have at Nintendo and it makes sense for us to do this because our characters are already well known across the globe. We can leverage the strength of our brands in order to build these parks which means that they should have a very high level of appeal.”
“Our intention is to create interactive theme park attractions here in America. We’re also going to be using some of our mascot characters from our American properties such as Mario, Link and Donkey Kong to create attractions that we’re going to be operating here at the theme parks.”
“As well as attractions based around Nintendo properties there are a few different games that we’re looking at. One is a game we’ve already announced called ‘Super Mario Run’ and the other is a game called ‘Nintendo Swap Ball’ which will be coming out on mobile devices. I believe the latter will be out by about April of this year.”
“It’s going to be a free to play game and it’s going to be something that everyone who comes to the park can enjoy. They’ll all have access to it regardless of what device you’re on and it’s all about hitting balls into holes, working with your friends and collecting different kinds of balls as well as items that you can use within game. It should have very broad appeal. It’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone to play.”
In order to create a high level of appeal, the question was asked about how much Nintendo would need to spend in order to make it happen. A considerable amount is being spent on the attractions and location. Additionally, there are still upgrades and planning necessary before they can make any type of opening announcement. Bowser could only say that they’re “looking at it as a long term investment. We’re not looking to make any short term money off of this. It’s very much an investment that takes time to pay off.”
The second topic we cover is the potential for a Nintendo Switch 24/7 offer similar to what XBox and Playstation have done.
Bowser: “We’re not planning on doing any 24/7 programs or anything like that right now. I think it would be pretty hard for us to do because the hardware itself doesn’t allow us to do that right now.