"Just think of paying 99 cents just to get Mario to jump a little higher." No. Let's not think of that. Ever.
The quote above, in today's Wall Street Journal, comes from Seth Fischer, manager of Oasis Management, a hedge fund that owns shares in Nintendo. The Journal got a look at a letter from Fischer to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, where he makes the case for Nintendo getting into mobile gaming and, more specifically, the business of in-app purchases:
"We believe Nintendo can create very profitable games based on in-game revenue models with the right development team."
Nintendo has said that they're not bringing Mario to smart devices. And they're not too keen on free-to-play either. But Fischer — dollar signs dancing in his eyeballs — desperately wants Nintendo games on smartphones, tablets and wherever else they can make a buck:
"The same people who spent hours playing Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Legend of Zelda as children are now a demographic whose engagement on the smartphone is valued by the market at well over $US100 billion."
This kind of talk isn't new. Fischer, like lots of other people obsessed with the company's current problems, dreams of the money that the embattled game company could make by spreading out their franchise into other ecosystems. But there have been very good rebuttals to that line of thinking. For now, Satoru Iwata and the powers-that-be in the House of Mario believe that their iconic plumber's best possible home is on hardware that Nintendo makes. Let's be grateful for that.
And, if Mr. Fischer wants to a character that jumps higher, maybe he should play as Mario's brother, who already jumps higher. It is the Year of Luigi, after all.
[via The Wall Street Journal]