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

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Avatar image for patrickklepek
Posted by patrickklepek (6436 posts) -
Nintendo is strongly pushing back on the notion of looking into a Pokemon spin-off on mobile.
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.

Avatar image for patrickklepek
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (6436 posts) -
Nintendo is strongly pushing back on the notion of looking into a Pokemon spin-off on mobile.
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.

Avatar image for dirtyastronaut
#2 Posted by DirtyAstronaut (67 posts) -

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

Avatar image for rjayb89
#3 Posted by rjayb89 (7811 posts) -

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

Avatar image for beforet
#4 Posted by beforet (3401 posts) -

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

Avatar image for mcfart
#5 Posted by Mcfart (2037 posts) -

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).

Avatar image for atomicedge
#6 Posted by AtomicEdge (367 posts) -

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!

Avatar image for drmckittrick
#7 Posted by DrMcKittrick (264 posts) -

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

Avatar image for tuggah
#8 Posted by Tuggah (1086 posts) -

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

Avatar image for sins_of_mosin
#9 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1713 posts) -

I'd love a Pokemon game for android.
Avatar image for zaph
#10 Posted by Zaph (308 posts) -

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.

Avatar image for kyreo
#11 Posted by Kyreo (4682 posts) -

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.

Avatar image for fox01313
#12 Posted by fox01313 (5226 posts) -

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.

Avatar image for hailinel
#13 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@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.

Avatar image for notsonic
#14 Posted by notsonic (302 posts) -

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.

Avatar image for karatetron
#15 Posted by karatetron (698 posts) -

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

Avatar image for hydraham
#16 Posted by HydraHam (1380 posts) -

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

Avatar image for crusader8463
#17 Posted by crusader8463 (14757 posts) -

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!

Avatar image for bollard
#18 Posted by Bollard (7609 posts) -
@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).
Avatar image for flipperdesert
#19 Posted by FlipperDesert (2202 posts) -

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

Avatar image for demonology_24
#20 Posted by DEMONOLOGY_24 (526 posts) -

I don't know how much pokemons popularity still remains(Mostly in north america I mean)
Avatar image for vhold
#21 Posted by vhold (547 posts) -

@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.

Avatar image for drfidget
#22 Posted by DrFidget (264 posts) -

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

Avatar image for branthog
#23 Posted by Branthog (5777 posts) -

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

Avatar image for shaanyboi
#24 Edited by Shaanyboi (1545 posts) -

@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?
Avatar image for lucidlife
#25 Posted by Lucidlife (108 posts) -

Seriously, who cares. Such a non issue.

Avatar image for zinc
#26 Posted by Zinc (207 posts) -

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*

Avatar image for otzlowe
#27 Posted by Otzlowe (338 posts) -

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.

Avatar image for billyhoush
#28 Posted by billyhoush (1265 posts) -

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

Avatar image for riotbananas
#29 Posted by RiotBananas (3822 posts) -

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

Avatar image for tourgen
#30 Posted by tourgen (4568 posts) -
@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
Avatar image for mistermouse
#31 Posted by MisterMouse (3602 posts) -

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

Avatar image for greenlight13
#32 Posted by Greenlight13 (106 posts) -
@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.
Avatar image for red
#33 Posted by Red (6146 posts) -

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.

Avatar image for jerichoblyth
#34 Posted by JerichoBlyth (1039 posts) -

RELEASE A POKEMON MMORPG FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

Avatar image for draco9898
#35 Posted by Draco9898 (172 posts) -

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?

Avatar image for jediautobot
#36 Posted by JediAutobot (235 posts) -

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

Avatar image for toowalrus
#37 Posted by TooWalrus (13392 posts) -

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...

Avatar image for mcshank
#38 Posted by McShank (1687 posts) -

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

Avatar image for seroth
#39 Posted by Seroth (765 posts) -

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

Avatar image for antisamitism
#40 Posted by Antisamitism (7 posts) -

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?

Avatar image for joker369
#41 Posted by Joker369 (979 posts) -

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

Avatar image for gs_dan
#42 Posted by GS_Dan (1435 posts) -

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

Avatar image for dg991
#43 Posted by DG991 (1435 posts) -

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

Avatar image for jetforcegemini
#44 Posted by JetForceGemini (175 posts) -

Great news! 

Avatar image for kjellm87
#45 Posted by Kjellm87 (1735 posts) -

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.

Avatar image for aaron_g
#46 Posted by Aaron_G (1681 posts) -

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

Avatar image for xpgamer7
#47 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2477 posts) -

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

Avatar image for dan_citi
#48 Edited by Dan_CiTi (4623 posts) -

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). 

Avatar image for wolf_blitzer85
#49 Edited by wolf_blitzer85 (5442 posts) -

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

Avatar image for nictel
#50 Posted by Nictel (2696 posts) -
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..

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