Co-op Teleporting Platformer ROVING ROGUE Now Available on Wii U

What comes after The End?

That's the question that has dogged humankind's greatest thinkers for millennia. Where do we go? What happens? Who will be there?

In this case, at least, I can tell you. The answers are: "a crumbling castle," "you run and teleport," and "steadfast knights, goblin archers, obsessed ghosts, demented wizards, and other dangerous foes."

In Roving Rogue, the multiplayer platforming adventure making its debut on Wii U on July 2nd, the end is the beginning. The game starts after our hero—rougish adventurer Kurt— defeats the final boss. Which usually spells victory and spoils and Princesses for the victor. Except that Kurt has forgotten why he's in this castle in the first place...

With a little help from your friends, you will navigate Kurt through 42 levels barring your way OUT of the castle. You'll stick your enemies with the pointy end of your trusty swords. You'll teleport through obstacles with your short-range teleportation ability while fending off fireballs and lava and evil magic. Along the way, you'll regain your memories that reveal why you were there in the first place. And you may not like what you remember....

Roving Rogue Game Features

Local co-op multiplayer (up to 4 players) will test your abilities to work as a team
42 frantic levels packed with enemies and obstacles to test your cooperative (or uncooperative) skills
An intricate story told backwards, full of twists and turns
A pixelated homage to your all-time favourite Golden Age classics
Simple yet deep mechanics and interaction
Fast-paced, flexible teleportation
Stabbing
Retails for USD $7.99

Live a new Smurfing quest with The Smurfs' latest videogame

Today, Ubisoft® announced that The Smurfs will be available this week on Nintendo 3DS across all EMEA territories (Europe, Middle East and Asia).

Developed by Magic Pockets, The Smurfs for Nintendo 3DS will take players to the colourful comic book world of their favourite characters. In this great new adventure, players will need to help the Smurfs rebuild their village while finding out what could have possibly caused its destruction. To complete their quest, they will have to play through a variety of 12 mini-games, collecting resources and avoiding Gargamel’s traps.

In this brand new Smurfs game, players will be able to build the greatest village for Papa Smurf, Smurfette and all their friends. Through multiple environments, from Gargamel’s lab to the deep forest surrounding the village, players will collect wood, rocks and bricks to help them in their quest. Customisation will be possible for both the Smurf houses as well as the whole village by sawing logs, nailing planks and stacking bricks.

All the mini-games are tailored for Nintendo 3DSTM, taking full advantage of its features: players will play hide and seek with the Nintendo 3DSTM stylus, pilot a plane through the woodlands, organise music contests or create their very own recipes by tilting the Nintendo 3DSTM to mix ingredients and blow in the microphone to cool their preparations.

For the latest information on The Smurfs, please visit: www.thesmurfsgame.com

For the latest news on Ubisoft collectible merchandise, please visit and like the page www.facebook.com/ubicollectibles .

Iwata on the challenges of Virtual Console releases, working with 3rd party content

Coming from Nintendo's investor meeting with Iwata...

Iwata: Virtual Console itself is a service that began when we developed Wii so that consumers can play past titles on new platforms, and we continue to distribute various titles now. However, back when we started this service, there were some points that we could not sufficiently foresee about how big this business would grow to be and how the business would expand. For example, Virtual Console titles are generally developed based on the original game software, but this does not mean that we can develop numerous Virtual Console titles simply if we have the original game software. Development of Virtual Console titles require detailed manual work, such as testing if the software runs smoothly on each platform, or making sure the content is appropriate under the various standards currently in place. Thus, we occasionally receive opinions that our pace of releasing new Virtual Console titles is slow, but if we use much of our human resources on such detailed manual work, we would not be able to develop new titles, so we are currently researching how we can efficiently develop Virtual Console titles with limited human resources. One of the big issues for our system development is how to resolve the situation in which we can only release a few Virtual Console titles at a time when we release new platforms.

In addition, regarding the possibility of making all titles available on Virtual Console, I can say that it is possible for Nintendo titles with a few exceptions, since we generally have the intellectual property rights for such titles. However, as to third-party software publishers’ titles, if they are producing the software based on a license from another copyright holder, for example, we may not be able to easily use the same title for the system that exists now because we do not have a license from the copyright holder at the time. This often becomes a problem with reruns of TV shows or Internet broadcasting. Therefore, since we can only release Virtual Console titles of third-party software publishers if they come to an agreement with the copyrights holders upon negotiating terms and conditions that were not included in their original contract, please understand that there are some titles that we cannot easily release despite many requests. We will make our best efforts to satisfy our consumers with our Virtual Console title lineup.

Nintendo didn't expect Splatoon to sell as well as it did

Coming from Nintendo's investor meeting with Iwata...

Iwata: As some of you may have seen the TV commercials we have been airing recently, “Splatoon” is a brand-new title and not a title from an established series. It has a very unique and fantasy-like setting. This game, inspired by squid squirting out ink, is played by human-shaped characters with squid-like features shooting, instead of squirting, ink at each other, and the team that paints the widest area in its team color wins. Having received high recognition from our consumers for its novelty, this title’s sell-through sales reached 1 million units in less than a month from its release. We feel very grateful for this, since our view was not so optimistic prior to release, for it being a non-series title.

Nintendo open to movie or TV adaptations for their IPs

Coming from Nintendo's investor meeting with Iwata...

Iwata: This answer overlaps with what I discussed in my answer about IP utilization earlier, but it would be a stretch to say that Nintendo was proactive in making merchandise in the past. We have been discussing internally that we should be more proactive, and it is imperative that we establish a global structure to deploy such business all around the world. As a large proportion of our sales come from outside Japan, we have various ideas in mind for collaboration on the character licensing business across Japan, North America and Europe. And this expansion won’t be limited to merchandise; it may take various forms including, for example, images or even movies or TV programs. Even though I am not sure of the actual forms, it is safe to say that in addition to profitable licensing businesses, Nintendo will take risks we believe are worthwhile. On the other hand, not a small number of businesses have ended up with a pile of leftover stock after a particular product’s short-lived period of popularity. It would surely ruin the value of Nintendo IP and would not enhance corporate value over the long term if we chose this path. Therefore, I would like to recap that our current plan is not to simply increase the number of proposals but to be more proactive than in the past by making appropriate decisions that will enhance our overall corporate value over the long term.

Nintendo won't devalue their IPs by flooding the market with licensed merchandise

Coming from Nintendo's investor meeting with Iwata...

Iwata: ...we are very grateful that you love Nintendo characters and games, and have the desire to own related products. On the other hand, we have to be wary of whether more Nintendo-licensed products will make a better situation. In the short term it may receive much attention, income such as licensing fees may increase and we might be able to grant some people’s wishes, but along with that we also have to consider correct quality control (maintaining and managing character value). Most products in the character industry are consumption-based in that they continuously repeat the process of birth and death. Only a handful of characters can last for one, two or three decades. Nintendo’s IP strategy is based on a long-term perspective where we continue to enhance our characters, worlds and settings for years. We have already announced that we would more actively utilize our IP, but not in the way that we increase the number of licensing partners as much as possible; instead we will proactively try anything that will enhance the value of our IP. We believe that it is not worth attempting initiatives that produce short-term profits at the expense of long-term detrimental effects on our IP. You might be unsatisfied with our pace of IP utilization, but we ask for your understanding.

Nintendo on breaking into the mobile market, making 'free-to-start' games

Coming from Nintendo's investor meeting with Iwata...

Iwata: Smart device game applications are drawing attention in the game industry because so many people around the world own smart devices (smartphones and tablets) and because, even though the total number is small, there have been several successful applications that have been hugely profitable after becoming very popular.

On the other hand, the competition among smart device applications has been so fierce that Nintendo cannot succeed just by releasing any software title with its popular characters or the themes in its popular game franchises. Any company that releases a new smart device application must face the challenge of making it stand out among the crowd.

About the shareholder’s question on how to charge for smart device applications, in general, there is one system to ask consumers to make a one-time payment for the application and another system to ask consumers to pay for additional downloadable content. As for the latter, people often call it the “free-to-play” system. However, since Nintendo is a company that wants the value of the games to be appreciated by consumers and wants to keep the games’ value at as high a level as possible, we do not want to use the free-to-play terminology that implies that you can play games free-of-charge. Instead, we use the term “free-to-start,” as this term more aptly describes that at the beginning you can start to play for free. And, the fact of the matter is, game software with a one-time payment system has not been doing a great job on smart devices. Because there are so many competitors making smart device applications, there is fierce competition and the pressure to lower prices. As a result of this competition to discount products, smart device game applications are being sold at far lower prices than the ones for dedicated video game systems. I think some of you would have seen such campaigns as “90 percent discount for smart device applications” in the shops on your smart devices. Because it is a digital product, it does not require transportation fees nor other constant expenses necessary for packaged software, and some may think it is good if it sells (even at a low price point), but once the value of a software title decreases, it can never be increased again. Since Nintendo wants to cherish the value of software, there will be a limit to how low of a price we might want to attach to our game applications for smart devices. The price of our game applications on smart devices will be compared with the prices of other smart device game applications. We believe we should not limit our payment system only to one-time payments, even though this is not something that we can announce as a general principle because different payment systems suit different kinds of software.

If I can add a few more explanations about the free-to-start system, even though you can start playing with the application for free, it later requires you to pay if you want to play beyond the initial area or to pay for items if you want to play the game in a more advantageous position. In extreme examples, some games are designed so that the players will be so excited psychologically as a result of, for example, being able to obtain a very rare item that they do not think twice about pushing the button, which immediately completes the monetary transaction and the player is charged with the bill. We know that some of such games have become a social issue. For your further information, in Japan, among those who are playing free-to-start games on their smart devices, the number of people who are actually spending money is very small. Yet, because this small group of people is paying a large sum of money, with which they could have even purchased several dedicated video game systems, this is one reason this free-to-start model can be very profitable. On the other hand, when we look around the world, the situation is different, and such a charging system has not necessarily been working well. When we look at successful smart device game applications abroad, a number of companies have been asking each of a greater number of consumers to pay less money. Companies may be able to make a very profitable business in Japan by asking a small group of consumers to pay a large amount of money (for their smart device applications), but we do not think that the same approach would be embraced by people around the world. Accordingly, even though we recognize that it is not an easy path to take, as long as Nintendo makes smart device applications, we must make them so that they appeal not just to some limited age group but to a wide age demographic just as our games thus far have been doing, and they should appeal to anyone regardless of their gaming experiences and gender, and most importantly, regardless of different cultures, nationalities and languages. We would like to make several software titles that are considered worldwide hits as soon as possible.

Regarding your question about the target audience, we are trying to make applications that appeal to a wide variety of people so that the games can receive payments widely but shallowly from each consumer. In other words, even if a consumer makes a relatively small payment, because of the large consumer base, the game can generate big revenue. This is the business model we would like to realize. I think the shareholder has just asked these questions partially because he is concerned that Nintendo might shift to the notorious business model that asks a small number of people to pay excessive amounts of money and that Nintendo’s brand image might be hurt. Please understand that Nintendo will make its proposals by taking into consideration what Nintendo really should do with this new challenge.

On a different note, we are not planning to release many game applications from this year (when our first smart device application will be released) to the next. The reason for this is that software for dedicated game systems is considered a “product” that tends to produce the strongest and most fresh impact on the world at the time of its release into the market but its impact can be lost gradually as time goes by. With that analogy, smart device applications have a strong aspect of “service.” Even though the initial number of players tends to be small, those who have played invite others to play too, and as the total number of the players gradually increases, so does the revenue. This, however, means that the release of the game does not mark the end of its development. If the game cannot offer services that evolve even on a daily basis, it cannot entertain consumers over the long term. Accordingly, we would like to spend sufficient time on the service aspect of each title, and we would like to grow each one of our small number of game applications with the objectives that I just mentioned.