Despite Nintendo’s initial success in its foray into mobile gaming, with Pokemon GO (Free) becoming a global phenomenon over the summer, and Super Mario Run (Free) being lined up to be an unprecedented success, some breaking news has suggested that everything isn’t necessarily going as straightforward as the prevailing narrative suggests. Today, gaming consultant Serkan Toto revealed that in a notice to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nintendo’s mobile partner DeNA has stated its decision to dissolve its Western subsidiary DeNA Global, Inc, which has offices in San Francisco. As well as this, other overseas subsidiaries of DeNA – such as early App Store giants ngmoco – are also set to liquidate.
On one hand, there is a major question on how Nintendo plans to keep doing its mobile release in the West without DeNA’s mobile offices. Nintendo will obviously still be releasing mobile games in the US, but this may clear the path for Nintendo of America to take this role on in the coming months. This decision will likely lead to a lot of questions on Nintendo’s future in mobile gaming, and the degree and significance of DeNA’s role in the partnership outside of Asia. However, while this action to dissolve DeNA’s US subsidiaries will probably not be felt by the typical mobile gamer, today’s news has a sadder subtext in the broader timeline of the App Store. As well as the numerous jobs that will be lost, this also acts as the final nail in the coffin of ngmoco, who were pivotal in the early days of the iPhone in establishing the device as a serious gaming platform. The App Store has certainly changed a lot since July 2008.