Iwata: Smartphone Makers don’t Value Games

Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata took a shot at hand-held smartphone devices this week during a speech at GDC. Iwata said that smartphone manufacturers do not value video games as much as they should with many seeing the quantity of apps as more important than the quality.

"We want consumers to appreciate the premium value of software through our platforms. Although Microsoft and Sony are different to us, I believe we all share this idea 100 per cent. We demonstrate a high value of game software. “However, smartphones and social platforms are not at all like ours. These platforms have no motivation to maintain a high value of game software. For them, content is just created by someone else."

“Quantity is how they profit. The value of game software does not matter to them.”

He went on to say that the amount of games creates a higher risk of failure and puts developers’ jobs on the line:

"Our industry has certainly expanded but it also gives me concern. It is difficult to gain true hit status. With such competition even being noticed is extremely difficult."

"Game development is drowning," he added.

Nintendo also announced a new Super Mario game for 3DS at the event, as well as admitting that the performance of their digital services WiiWare and DSiWare have been "disappointing."

Source: Develop

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  1. 0
    sqlrob says:

    Yes, you can blame them for shovelware. They control the platform, they are required to sign the binaries and give a "seal of quality"

    And accordingly, you can blame Apple for the shovelware on iOS, but you can’t blame them for any shovelware on OS X (that’s not in the app store).

    You want to control what’s on your platform, you get blamed for what’s on it.


  2. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    You can’t blame Nintendo for 3rd party titles. I USE THAT NOTEBOOK, THANK YOU! I’m glad they’ve turned the DS into more than just a game machine, a media player, and a pocket organizer.

    Yes, for smartphones, it’s nothing but shovelware. Poor Nintendo got hit hard when the DS first came out, but they shifted through it, setting prime examples of what they wanted (Mario, Zelda, Metroid) and eventually 3rd party’s started following along (Hotel Dusk, Prof. Layton, Golden Sun).

    No you can’t keep out all the trash, but the smartphones don’t even seem to be trying. Quality’s a needle in a crapstack at the Apple Store.

    No, Nintendo’s problem is (and Iwata’s for that matter) is where the quality needs to be sold (next generation at least). DLC, Iwata! Put it online! Not the DSiware; the full-length games! Yes…Microsoft and Sony share those ideas 100%, so why don’t you?

  3. 0
    Kajex says:

    Wasn’t one of the main contributors to the video game market crash of 83 the oversaturation of knockoffs without originality, thus leading to disinterest in the products made worse by word-of-mouth?

    No company in an oversaturated industry can thrive unless they bringing something that blows people away, nowadays.

  4. 0
    killatia says:

    He does have a point. When smartphones start bragging abiout having 30,000 games and 29,000 of are either bad or stolen games then its so easy to see that apple (and to a lesser exdent google) dosen’t seem to care too much about quality.



  5. 0
    Sporge says:

    There are more devs out there now, and some really only care about the bottom line, that is $$$$$

    Nintendo has always been great about their games, but they do not regulate the shovel ware on their own platforms that well.

    And lets face it this happens in every industry ever.  From food to movies, there is plenty of what I would call just junk on the shelves.  This is why we have things like reviewers and customer ratings, they should be able to help people decide what is quality. 

    I do think companies hav e amoral obligation to strive for quality but honestly it can’t be something enforced.

  6. 0
    sqlrob says:

    Come on, Superman 64 had the Nintendo Seal of Quality!!! How can you say they don’t care, when that game is mentioned in lots of lists?


    /ok ok, so the lists are usually "worst game ever" ones 


  7. 0
    Zerodash says:

    I agree with what Iwata says, but how does he explain drivel like "Imaginez Babiez Party" or Notebook apps that are on the DS?  He might be right, but Nintendo doesn’t exactly seem to care either.

  8. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Yeah, but thier shovelware is dwarfed by the currently advertized cell phone game market and app stores… and Nintendo does not exactly draw attention to it, while handheld makers trot out their ‘look at how big our catalog is!’ pretty regularly.

  9. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Interesting words coming from the president of a company that has by far the most shovelware of any of the major platforms.


    Andrew Eisen

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