It appears the Splatoon Global Testfire went better then Nintendo expected. Not only did the servers hold up very well but it also got a lot of people interested in the game. So much so that apparently the game is climbing pre-order charts on Amazon globally. Here in North America, Splatoon is already at the top of the Wii U list and even climbed into the top 20 list for all games. It seems the Global Testfire has payed off for Splatoon.
We all know that Nintendo recently shutdown Club Nintendo and announced that its replacement is on the way. During the announcement of the DeNA partnership back in March, we learned that there is a new membership program coming this fall that would span multiple devices. Well during the recent investors meeting, Nintendo gave us a little more info on both of them. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata stated that the membership program will include “an improved version of the current loyalty program.” Read what he said exactly after the jump.
Nintendo’s been doing a lot lately. They’ve released the Amiibos, launched some killer games for the Wii U, came out with the New 3DS, announced they’re moving into mobile, had back to back directs giving us a more in depth look at their games, and even announced they’re working on a new platform. As we saw a month ago, their stock had a huge bump when they announced the mobile partnership and as we learned in the recent investors meeting, they’re finally out of the slump they were in.
Well, there’s some more good news for Nintendo. After the recent investors meeting, we saw Nintendo’s stock jump another 7% to a market cap of ¥3.08 trillion. Their net worth is now at $25.7 billion US dollars. To put this in perspective, at the beginning of the year, their market cap was $14 billion US dollars. That’s a massive increase and judging by the things they’ve announced so far, that could increase again in the not too distant future.
Earlier today during Nintendo’s financial briefing, Nintendo revealed something very interesting about their mobile development. Apparently Mario Kart producer, Hideki Konno, will be in charge of development of their smartphone games.
This is what Satoru Iwata had to say when speaking with the Japanese publication Sankei:
It should help you understand the level of commitment from Nintendo
This is some serious muscle they’re putting behind their mobile development. The Mario Kart series is one of their top sellers! To think they’re putting Hideki Konno behind it. They must be very serious about their mobile development!
Over the past few years, whenever Nintendo was talked about in the news from a financial stand point, everything was all doom and gloom. However, despite all the negativity, the Wii U sales have been increasing and Nintendo reportedly posted an operating profit of 25 billion yen in the quarter ending in March 2015. This is thanks to Super Smash Bros., Yokai Watch, the launch of the New 3DS in the West, and the Amiibos.
Last year, in the first two months of the Amiibo’s launch, 5.7 million Amiibo’s were sold worldwide and 3.5 million were sold in the U.S. alone. Since the Amiibo’s and Super Smash Bros. launched, the Wii U has seen an increase in hardware sales by 10% in the U.S. which has continued into 2015 with a 20% increase for the first quarter, according to NPD. Michael Pachter believes the Amiibo’s will bring in $200 million – $300 million annual revenue for Nintendo. He also states that as more games use the Amiibo’s, more people will want them.
Overall though, things are looking better for Nintendo. Sales of the 3DS are up thanks to the New 3DS, the Wii U sales are doing better year over year, software sales are looking good, and many Amiibos are still sold out in the U.S. at retail. Nintendo is starting 2015 off strong. Combine this with the recent news of the partnership with DeNA and it seems 2015 will turn out to be a better year for Nintendo then 2014.
Not too long ago, Nintendo was one of the few game companies out there that wasn’t doing DLC. This stance was praised by some due to the countless instances of bad DLC in games but was a complaint by others who wanted Nintendo to keep their games alive by expanding on them. This stance however is no more. Over the past few years, Nintendo has been introducing DLC in various different titles. Recently, it seems Nintendo has fully embraced DLC with most of the larger games integrating it as well as the Amiibo’s being used as a form of it.
Interest in Mario got a huge bump recently on Youtube, thanks to the fan-made Super Mario 64 HD project. Since the project released, a ton of videos have been uploaded showing gameplay from it. Because of this, Super Mario has jumped up to #8 out of 20 games in Newzoo’s and Octoly’s top 20 most popular games on Youtube list.
Out of all the views listed, 97.6% of the views were done on fan-made videos. The down side of this is that, due to Nintendo’s current Youtube policies, a Nintendo IP may never be back in this list. Who knows though? Either way, if you’re interested in seeing these videos, you may want to watch them before they’re all gone. As for the chart, it’s behind the jump.
When it comes to indie developers and smaller studios, there is one name that gets thrown around for game development more then anything else. That name is Unity. Unity has become one of, maybe even the most popular development engines out there. So many games these days use it and just by having support for it, it opens the flood gates of independent games on your platform.
Well Nintendo knew this and they’ve been wanting to get Unity up and running on 3DS for quite some time. Apparently the boost in hardware power of the New 3DS is just what they needed to get Unity on the platform. Well, reports are coming in that Unity support for the New 3DS was just announced at the recent Unite 2015 Tokyo event. I guess that hardware boost made all the difference.
The next Xenoblade Chronicles X Japanese presentation is going to start in about 7 hours from now. The presentation will cover will focus on Dolls (giant robots) and network features. Who knows what all information they’ll show. Either way, we’ll finally hear more about the multiplayer features they’ve been keeping a tight lip on. Wanna see the presentation live? We got you covered!
Ever since the initial release, the Yo-kai Watch series has been doing very well in Japan. Between toys, games, manga, and anime, the series has brought in over $1 billion in Japan. So it should come as no surprise that Yo-kai Watch was at Level-5’s Vision event in a big way. There was lots of talk about the series, specifically for three really major announcements.
First, the one that directly effects us in the west. The original Yo-kai Watch game is coming west thanks to Nintendo. That’s right, Nintendo will be publishing Yo-kai Watch “in the west” and the game is expected to release in North America sometime in 2016. This is a long time coming, as the original game came out in summer 2013 in Japan.