In one the oddest investor complaints ever, Nintendo's shareholders are reportedly mad at the maker of Mario, Zelda and the Wii, for not leveraging its core franchises on Apple's iOS platforms. Apparently investors haven't noticed for the life of the company's video game industry involvement that Nintendo does not swim in any other ponds but its own. According to a report from Bloomberg's Mike Firn (reporting from Tokyo), investors are now saying that it should develop titles for Apple's iPhone. That would be like Microsoft investors telling it that it should develop Halo games for the PlayStation 3 or Wii…
The complaints highlight the situation that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata faces as consumers shun Nintendo devices to play games on iPhones, iPads and Facebook. The flop of the 3DS debut prompted the company to cut prices 40 percent in Japan and 32 percent in the U.S., the first time the games developer has resorted to such a move within six months of a product’s debut.
Iwata has said that Nintendo will only make titles for its own products as long as he’s in charge, but fund manager Masamitsu Ohki said the company should "scrap that strategy to avoid further alienating investors who have driven the stock to six-year lows."
"Smartphones are the new battlefield for the gaming industry," said Ohki, a fund manager at Tokyo-based Stats Investment Management Co. "Nintendo should try to either buy its way into this platform or develop something totally new."
Ohki declined to identify his holdings to Bloomberg or to name any targets Nintendo should consider for an acquisition. Yasuhiro Minagawa, a spokesman at Nintendo, declined to comment beyond statements made previously by Iwata.
In the short term, Nintendo is betting on price cuts to the 3DS which now sells for 15,000 yen down from 25,000 yen starting today in Japan and a number of new game titles to revive earnings. The company plans to introduce flagship titles such as Super Mario 3D Land in November and Mario Kart 7 in December for the 3DS. In the U.S., the 3DS will cost $169.99, down from $249.99.