Nintendo is turning to the silver screen in an effort to stem plummeting revenue.
In an effort to generate more income, Nintendo will turn to numerous film studios to help bring its huge license portfolio to movie theatres.
Speaking with The Asahi Shimbun, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said it was looking to produce its own films instead of licensing out its characters. While it would collaborate with film studios, it would maintain creative control as a means to avoid another Mario Bros. fiasco, which saw Hollywood butcher the iconic gaming franchise at the height of Nintendo’s dominance in the early ’90s.
Nintendo isn’t looking into live-action films, according to Kimishima, but it is trying to establish relationships with studios outside of Japan to expand the promotion of its long list of loveable game characters.
The company’s shift to film probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. It has in recent times turned to mobile, releasing the social-networking app Miitomo to a mixed reception. Nintendo’s revenue has steadily declined over recent years, with Nintendo of America even selling its 45 percent stake in the Seattle Mariners baseball team to expand the company’s cash coffers. It’s clear that the company is intending to use the cash generated from both that sale and in-app sales from Miitomo to expand its business strategy.
Maintaining creative control would be the best thing as opposed to simply licensing out the characters to third-parties. Nintendo at least knows how best to translate their characters to the big-screen.
Anyone who grew up playing Nintendo in the ’90s would have surely at one point watched at least a bit of the Mario Bros. movie. The film was widely panned by film critics and gamers alike, and the film’s production was infamously over-budget and riddled with problems.
Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto has always been rather diplomatic in his assessment of the film, calling it a “fun project” that the team obviously put a lot of effort into, but that those making the film didn’t quite understand how to translate the titular duo to film.
“The one thing that I still have some regrets about is that the movie may have tried to get a little too close to what the Mario Bros. video games were. And in that sense, it became a movie that was about a video game, rather than being an entertaining movie in and of itself,” he said.
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