New Nintendo Boss Wants To Find The Next 'Pokémon GO'

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Shuntaro Furukawa, the incoming Nintendo president, will be looking for the next “Pokémon GO” in his plan to build up the company’s smartphone business. Furukawa will not rely only on the Nintendo Switch for the company’s future.  ( Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP/Getty Images )

New Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa will be looking to build up the video game company’s smartphone business once he takes his seat in June.

Furukawa will apparently be looking for the next Pokémon GO, the augmented reality smartphone game that took the world by storm when it was launched in July 2016.

New Nintendo President Will Build Up iOS, Android Games

The Nintendo Switch success has been one of the biggest stories in the video game story. Nintendo recently said that it expects the hybrid console to do better in its second year, with target sales of 20 million units.

However, incoming Nintendo President Furukawa, who will step into the position in June, will not be banking only on the Nintendo Switch for the company’s future. In an interview with Nikkei, Furukawa revealed that he is planning to build up Nintendo’s smartphone game business.

“From what I can see, smartphone games are the ones I want to expand the most,” said Furukuwa, who is 20 years younger than outgoing Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima. Furukuwa previously said that he will be challenging the status quo to push Nintendo forward, and a renewed focus on smartphone games will certainly do that.

According to Nikkei, Furukawa is looking to strike gold in the smartphone gaming scene similar to the massive launch of Pokémon GO. The mobile game, which shattered records on its release, transformed the Pokémon franchise’s story and gameplay to fit smartphones, and Nintendo believes that this is the key to its success.

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“I can’t say that there are any that are like that” among the Nintendo mobile games currently in development, Furukawa said, so a Pokémon GO-like hit for the company will be further down the line.

What Will It Take To Be The Next ‘Pokémon GO’?

The current Nintendo games for iOS and Android devices have been launched with mixed results. Super Mario Run received a significant level of hype, but its price turned off many mobile gamers. Fire Emblem: Heroes, meanwhile, has proven to be successful financially, but its loot box and microtransactions systems also pushed some players away. Nintendo will also be releasing a new RPG game for smartphones named Dragalia Lost this summer, but details for the game remain thin.

It is unlikely that any of these titles will reach the same success of Pokémon GO. For Nintendo to build up its smartphone business, it will have to take one of its many popular franchises from its consoles and transform it into a game specifically designed for smartphones.

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