Shuntaro Furukawa, the new CEO of Nintendo who will start working in June, mainly wants to expand in the field of smartphone games. He plans to turn mobile games into a “billion dollar business.”
Super Mario Run
In an interview with Nikkei, Furukawa says he wants to expand smartphone games the most. His goal is to earn 100 billion yen a year with mobile games, which is about 758 million euros. The division that includes smartphone games had a turnover of 39.3 billion yen in the past fiscal year. That is only four percent of the total turnover.
Furukawa has not yet announced concrete plans to increase sales from mobile games, but he says he is inspired by games like Pokémon Go. The idea of something emerging that transforms into something this big is an important motive for Nintendo, he says.
Nintendo started releasing smartphone games in late 2016. So far, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp have appeared. Nintendo made those games together with DeNa. Last week, the Japanese publisher announced a new smartphone RPG: Dragalia Lost. That is the first mobile game to be made in collaboration with another developer.
Furukawa also wants to release the Nintendo Switch in more markets, especially in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The console is now for sale in about fifty markets and is sold particularly well in Europe, Japan and the US. The new CEO sees growth opportunities beyond that.
At the end of April, Nintendo announced a new CEO. The old CEO is leaving now that the Switch console is a success. Shuntaro Furukawa, the new CEO, is 46 years old. He replaces 68-year-old Tatsumi Kimishima. Nintendo had long wanted to rejuvenate the board, but it was waiting for the right moment. The Switch console, of which Nintendo has now shipped 17.8 million, delivered very good numbers. Annual turnover doubled with the arrival of the console.