updated 02:15 pm EDT, Tue April 6, 2010
Nintendo US exec thinks iPhone games unprofitable
Nintendo's US president Reggie Fils-Aime has denied that Apple's handhelds are having an impact on sales for the DSi. The executive in an interview claimed that the iPhone and iPod, as well as the iPad, can't affect Nintendo's device or game sales since buying habits themselves don't encourage game development. Since iPhone gamers don't commit to gameplay before moving on to other apps, they often aren't willing to pay much if anything and make it difficult for software teams to justify large titles.
"Clearly it doesn't look like their platform is a viable profit platform for game development because so many of the games are free versus paid downloads," he told Kotaku. "If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game, [Apple's] aren't even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get."
The statements are contradicted by analytics, which have shown iPhone games claiming a fifth of handheld game revenue in just one year. Most of that share loss came for the more expensive and relatively unpopular Sony PSP, but Nintendo also saw a multi-point loss of revenue share. Actual download volume may be disproportionately higher as iPhone games usually cost a third or less of their Nintendo counterparts.
Some of the more successful games, such as Assassin's Creed or Civilization Revolution, are actually ports of Nintendo DS games, undermining Fils-Aime's argument that the titles aren't as substantial.