Nintendo Launches New Super Mario Game Through Apple iPhone 7
The mobile game Super Mario Run by Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) will be launched in December through the Apple Store. The new “iPhone 7,” which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched this week, will include the game app as part of its “standard” equipment. This heralds a new and profitable collaboration between the two groups. Nintendo stock, as it happens, has gained 94.15% year-to-date.
Indeed, Nintendo stock might have dropped today, by a substantial 7.7%, in New York. But, in Japan, but the sighting of Super Mario next to an iPhone, pleased investors in Tokyo, where Nintendo stock, a video game pioneer, jolted 13%. Gamers around the world are excited that the world’s most famous plumber will soon be paying regular visits on Apple iPhones.
Few had ever considered such a union as Nintendo and Apple, and through the auspices of Super Mario no less. So, even as the tech universe eagerly awaited the launch of the new iPhone, what really stole the show on September 7 was the Super Mario game app. Shigeru Miyamoto, who created the Super Mario character and game, shared the stage with Apple CEO Tim Cook during the Cupertino, California-based company’s iPhone 7 presentation. No wonder Nintendo shares got a jolt in Japan.
The actual name of Nintendo’s new iPhone 7 inaugurating app is “Super Mario Run”. The “Apple Store” will make this available starting next December. Later, Nintendo will also offer it through the “Google Play” store and other “Android” mobile operating system machines. Nintendo clearly hopes that the success of Pokémon Go will carry over to Super Mario, which features a more direct Nintendo contribution.
Former Nintendo boss thought of Apple as his biggest competitor
Nintendo’s former boss, Satoru Iwata (who died in July 2015), considered Apple its biggest competitor. (Source: “Thanks to Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata, We’re All Gamers Now”, Wired, July 16, 2015.) But the new Nintendo has departed significantly from Iwata’s vision. Rather than fighting the emerging world of mobile gaming, as Iwata did, Nintendo has fully embraced it. The Pokémon phenomenon and its overwhelming worldwide success has certainly validated the shift, while the new Super Mario app will confirm it.
NTDOY stock used to rise or fall depending on the success of Nintendo’s consoles and games. The latter could not be played on competitors’ machines. Therefore, the Japanese group maintained full control over its software, hardware and content. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Apple has essentially followed the same logic.
Apple and Nintendo Shared the Same Business Approach
There was a brief period of the “Macintosh clones”. Then, third-party manufacturers could build machines using—or adopting a related facsimile thereof—the Apple “iOS” system in the mid-1980s. In 1997, when Steve Jobs resumed command of the company he co-founded, he put a swift end to that. Since 1997, therefore, Apple has manufactured its own products, running on its own operating systems, sold through its own physical and online stores. But this too will have to end. Indeed, the model can work when the actual machine sales are high, but as Nintendo discovered with its own hardware, the good times can and do end.
That’s why the Apple collaboration is so critical for Nintendo stock. The company has learned a valuable lesson, which many business schools will use as an important case study. Having gone through the process and survived, Nintendo has decided to be more open, focusing on the demand for mobile gaming, making its products available on all platforms. Last March, before the success of Pokémon Go, Nintendo launched its first mobile application, called “Miitomo.” Pokémon Go (actually the brainchild of American company Niantic, Inc.) appeared in June. The new Super Mario app, though, marks the biggest Nintendo involvement to date with a mobile gaming app. This is huge for Nintendo and NTDOY stock, now and into the next few years.