Giant Bomb News

73 Comments

Nintendo of America: Don't Even Think About Pokemon for iPhone

The company line isn't very different from the one in Japan.

Nintendo is strongly pushing back on the notion of looking into a Pokemon spin-off on mobile.

There will be a Pokémon app released for iPhone and Android phones this summer. Titled Pokemon Say Tap? BW, it's not a full-fledged Pokémon video game, rather a promotional spin-off, a card-based rhythm game focused around Pokémon Black and White.

After the news broke, speculation ran wild Nintendo was dipping its toes into the water outside its own platforms. Its stock even went up.

Nintendo of Japan strongly denied such chatter, citing that it doesn't outright own The Pokemon Company or the Pokemon franchise. Thus, The Pokemon Company was within its right to experiment like this.

I asked Nintendo of America whether the app would appear in North America, and while the company didn't address its English prospects, they provided a stern rebuttal of any speculation of this signaling a potential future for Nintendo franchises in a post-handheld world.

"On July 1, the Pokémon Company announced that it was launching a free Android and iOS application in Japan called "Pokémon IeTap? BW" (phonetic)," said the company in a statement. "The Pokémon Company routinely launches applications for cell phones and PCs as a way to promote its non-video game products, such as a music CD and Pokémon TCG [Trading Card Game] cards in this instance. Since they are intended purely as promotional tools, not as unique video games, Nintendo is not involved in any way."

The Pokemon Company is the marketing branch of the Pokemon brand. Game Freak actually develops the Pokemon video games. Nintendo has a joint stake in The Pokemon Company.

It seems pretty clear Pokemon Say Tap? BW is intended as a promotional one-off, and as Nintendo's reiterating here, it's specifically designed to celebrate the Pokemon Trading Card game.

"The relationship between the two companies is unaffected," the company continued. "All Pokémon video game content will continue to appear exclusively on Nintendo platforms. As stated previously, Nintendo has no intention or plans of publishing its IP on non-Nintendo platforms. This is an example of a promotion by a key Nintendo partner and has no bearing on Nintendo's overall strategy."

That's about as strong of a denial as they come--as if it's any surprise. 3DS isn't selling at the same pace as the wildly successful DS, but Nintendo is a company that would have to be on wounded knee before releasing its games on a platform it didn't control. That's not to say it won't ever happen, but Nintendo's hardly in the gutter at the moment, and it'll be a long time before the company changes strategy. A man can dream, though.

All that said, I sure as hell would love an augmented reality version of Pokémon Snap on iPhone or 3DS.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
73 Comments
  • 73 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by patrickklepek
Nintendo is strongly pushing back on the notion of looking into a Pokemon spin-off on mobile.

There will be a Pokémon app released for iPhone and Android phones this summer. Titled Pokemon Say Tap? BW, it's not a full-fledged Pokémon video game, rather a promotional spin-off, a card-based rhythm game focused around Pokémon Black and White.

After the news broke, speculation ran wild Nintendo was dipping its toes into the water outside its own platforms. Its stock even went up.

Nintendo of Japan strongly denied such chatter, citing that it doesn't outright own The Pokemon Company or the Pokemon franchise. Thus, The Pokemon Company was within its right to experiment like this.

I asked Nintendo of America whether the app would appear in North America, and while the company didn't address its English prospects, they provided a stern rebuttal of any speculation of this signaling a potential future for Nintendo franchises in a post-handheld world.

"On July 1, the Pokémon Company announced that it was launching a free Android and iOS application in Japan called "Pokémon IeTap? BW" (phonetic)," said the company in a statement. "The Pokémon Company routinely launches applications for cell phones and PCs as a way to promote its non-video game products, such as a music CD and Pokémon TCG [Trading Card Game] cards in this instance. Since they are intended purely as promotional tools, not as unique video games, Nintendo is not involved in any way."

The Pokemon Company is the marketing branch of the Pokemon brand. Game Freak actually develops the Pokemon video games. Nintendo has a joint stake in The Pokemon Company.

It seems pretty clear Pokemon Say Tap? BW is intended as a promotional one-off, and as Nintendo's reiterating here, it's specifically designed to celebrate the Pokemon Trading Card game.

"The relationship between the two companies is unaffected," the company continued. "All Pokémon video game content will continue to appear exclusively on Nintendo platforms. As stated previously, Nintendo has no intention or plans of publishing its IP on non-Nintendo platforms. This is an example of a promotion by a key Nintendo partner and has no bearing on Nintendo's overall strategy."

That's about as strong of a denial as they come--as if it's any surprise. 3DS isn't selling at the same pace as the wildly successful DS, but Nintendo is a company that would have to be on wounded knee before releasing its games on a platform it didn't control. That's not to say it won't ever happen, but Nintendo's hardly in the gutter at the moment, and it'll be a long time before the company changes strategy. A man can dream, though.

All that said, I sure as hell would love an augmented reality version of Pokémon Snap on iPhone or 3DS.

Posted by DirtyAstronaut

A full pokemon game for iphone would be amazing... then we'd all realise how bad the batteries really are in modern phones.

Posted by rjayb89

TOO EFFIN' BAD BECAUSE I'M THINKIN' IT RIGHT NOW.

Posted by Beforet

Is it actually called "The Pokemon Company"? I thought it was Gamefreak or something.

Posted by Mcfart

3DSes will start selling once the Pokemon gen is released. Kinda bad luck for B&W's release being 6-8 months before the 3DS (in Japan), and now the stupid Crystal/Platnium revision will come out, then a rumored GBA remake is coming afterwords (dunno if DS or 3DS on that one).

Online
Posted by AtomicEdge

Y'know, I really don't understand why they take such a long time about getting new Pokémon games out. I understand that in order to have lots of trading going on, that it's best to release it on an older console, but if they had launched Black and White on the 3DS as a launch title, it would really have made the console look more appealing.

I mean, that game even went out of it's way to show off "Look at our town's in 3D!" as a selling point. Hopefully they will release the 3rd version as a 3DS game (Grey?), but I doubt they will...

Street pass seems like it was made with Pokémon in mind!

Posted by DrMcKittrick

What assholes. Do you know how many copies they'd sell? It's their loss.

Posted by Tuggah

I bet in 5-10 years when the hand held market has transferred to phones Pokemon will be forced to cave in.

Posted by sins_of_mosin

I'd love a Pokemon game for android.
Posted by Zaph

Of course not, Nintendo is still desperately trying to convince the public that mobile/hand-held games are worth $40+.

They seem completely unable (or unwilling?) to read the writing on the wall in regards to the mobile market.

Posted by Kyreo

Good. I'm glad Pokemon has some kind of standard and isn't whored out everywhere. Because it would be very successful if it did.

Posted by fox01313

Another attempt of Japan clearly holding the idea of porting one good Pokeman game to the iPhone & going the other direction. Agreed on not flooding the market with tons of the games but I think that one or two of the good Pokeman games would be good for that format.

Posted by Hailinel

@Zaph said:

Of course not, Nintendo is still desperately trying to convince the public that mobile/hand-held games are worth $40+.

They seem completely unable (or unwilling?) to read the writing on the wall in regards to the mobile market.

Nintendo has released a number of budget-priced titles through the Wii, DSi, and eShops. But of course they aren't going to prefer releasing games on services that they don't own.

Try seeing the common sense before jumping on them for ignoring the iPhone.

Posted by notsonic

I feel like whiskey media lives in an apple reality distortion field sometimes. This post handheld notion is more media sensation than reality. Yeah everyone (and by everyone I mean like half of cellphone users) has a super phone, and people download games for them. Its unlikely anyone spends real time playing those games though, especially to the exclusion of other platforms. Just because the ds/psp/3ds/vita dont fit into anyone of the games media's lifestyles doesn't mean theres no market. For every journalist out there with their iphone theres tons of kids still playing their ds at school (who I'm sure want a 3ds and we'll see sales pick up for the holidays.)

Theres been an overwhelming trend lately in games/technology media lauding revolutions and futures that just aren't taking place. Phone games are not the future, they're a future.

Posted by karatetron

I wasn't thinking about it, but now I am, and that sounds AWESOME.

Posted by HydraHam

Just make a pokemon MMO, that would make 10x what wow makes.

Posted by crusader8463

If they are going to a new platform, I want it to be PC and in the form of a full fledged 3D Pokemon MMO!

Posted by Bollard
@Beforet said:

Is it actually called "The Pokemon Company"? I thought it was Gamefreak or something.

GameFreak develops the actual videogames, The Pokemon Company holds the rights to the license of Pokemon. I guess The Pokemon Company is responsible for the trading card game and other stuff also (but not actually manufacturing the toys).
Posted by FlipperDesert

Well, I wasn't thinking about Pokémon for iPhone until you said it, Nintendo. God.

Posted by DEMONOLOGY_24

I don't know how much pokemons popularity still remains(Mostly in north america I mean)
Posted by vhold

@TheAddict said:

A full pokemon game for iphone would be amazing... then we'd all realise how bad the batteries really are in modern phones.

Yup, but it's not so much the battery, it's the battery life, because Nintendo's portable platforms are highly optimized for games like Pokemon, it can spend most of its time in a low power "sleep" state after it's done drawing a frame, waiting for the next cycle. Games on phones tend to have to implement everything in a generic CPU intensive fashion, on top of having to deal with the phone being a phone in the background, checking email, etc.

Posted by DrFidget

I'm actually sitting in line for the pokemon national championship while reading this.

Posted by Branthog

Don't worry, Nintendo. I don't think about Pokemon on *any* platform, because I'm not twelve years old.

Edited by Shaanyboi

@DrMcKittrick said:

What assholes. Do you know how many copies they'd sell? It's their loss.
 

Do you realize how many copies they DO sell?  And how much money they DO make off of that?
Posted by Lucidlife

Seriously, who cares. Such a non issue.

Posted by Zinc

They should stop making Pokemon games for a while. Take a break and come up with somthing diffrent insed of feeding us more of the same each installment. *coughlegendofzeldacough*

Posted by Otzlowe

I love reading articles about what Nintendo of America is not doing. They just seem like a lazy parent who won't do anything for you, but doesn't want you to do it either.
 
For all the talk of Nintendo becoming more appealing and targeting the "hard core" market again, they still seem awfully obsolete. At least, the American branch does.

Posted by billyhoush

This seems like a great PR stunt to gauge interest...or not. I would play a pokemon game on my iPhone.

Posted by RiotBananas

I can already play Pokémon games on my Android for free with an emulator.

Posted by tourgen
@Tuggah said:
I bet in 5-10 years when the hand held market has transferred to phones Pokemon will be forced to cave in.
yep, they will either adapt or perish
Posted by MisterMouse

man I bet an iphone android version of a pokemon game would make BANK!

Posted by Greenlight13
@pyromaster222 said:
man I bet an iphone android version of a pokemon game would make BANK!
Saved me some time typing that. It would make a killing. 
 
I can't be bothered to take my original DS with me everywhere I go, and I'm not buying a 3DS, but if i could just play 10 minutes at a time on my phone? I'd 100% play Pokemon again. But it makes sense with Nintendo's philosophy, they want their own hardware to run their stuff. Hard to fault their business strategy, but it sucks for us a little.
Posted by Red

I've always thought that Pokemon for iPhone would be a fantastic idea, as it is such a portable game, and, since everyone always has their iPhone on them, it'd be massively easy to do multiplayer. 
 
While I understand why Nintendo hasn't made a Pokemon game for the iPhone yet, and probably never will, I have no idea why we haven't seen a good Pokemon knock-off come to the app store yet.

Posted by JerichoBlyth

RELEASE A POKEMON MMORPG FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

Posted by Draco9898

Who even asked if pokemon would be on a mobile device? Isn't it a given that its going to be on a nintendo handheld to help sell it?

Posted by JediAutobot

I do love the Pokemon games, but I my favorite is still Pokemon Snap!

Posted by TooWalrus

There's been like 30 generations of Pokemon cards now. I'd love a new Pokemon Trading Card Game. Especially since we now have the tech to add more cards as they are released...

Posted by McShank

I R Love Pokemon games still and im 21... Even on my Droid X!

Posted by Seroth

I won't think about Pokemon for the iPhone, but I am thinking about Xenoblade in America...

Posted by Antisamitism

Not surprising, of course, but still disappointing to hear it laid-out like that. I'd love to see an iOS Pokémon game, especially something that could utilize Facebook Connect or offer asynchronous multiplayer. Pocket Monsters with Friends, basically. Pokémon's such a low-tempo game--I can't imagine a more natural fit for mobile platforms.

But I'm sure someone will make that kind of game happen sooner or later on iOS, even if it's got nothing to do with the Pokémon IP. Fingers crossed?

Posted by Joker369

Unless Nintendo makes a phone i think that pokemon will stay on wii and ds

Posted by GS_Dan

I'd love for Nintendo to just be a 3rd party developer.

Posted by DG991

Nintendo... make a phone.... While you still can.

Posted by JetForceGemini

Great news! 

Posted by Kjellm87

Well duh.

Don't get me wrong, GB is a good site. But this site won't be my main source for Nintendo news anytime soon.

Posted by Aaron_G

That's alright. I have a 3DS and I am looking forward to some Pokemon action on there!

Posted by Xpgamer7

I'm happy pokemon WON'T take over my life again.

Edited by Dan_CiTi

If they remade Pokemon (Fire)Red for iOS(whether it would be a graphical update with some interface redesigns or re-doing the balance/battle system to add elements and various other features from Black & White and beyond), that would be insanely popular and I'd buy it in a heart beat.  
 
Oh and obviously they would have to redo things like trading and wireless and how to acquire non first gen. pokemon again I guess, but that's a given for any official release(expand/alter the Sevii Islands? At least it should have everything in FireRed/LeafGreen). 

Online
Edited by wolf_blitzer85

Yup slap a pokemon on that 3DS and it'll go.

Posted by Nictel
citing that it doesn't outright own The Pokemon Company or the Pokemon franchise.

Sure maybe not directly but you can't tell me that it doesn't decide exactly what happens with one of its most important franchises..

  • 73 results
  • 1
  • 2