Kazuki Morishita Interview July 9 Feature

GungHo talks about working with Nintendo, mobile games and the Japanese console market

Recently, Gamasutra spoke with GungHo Online Entertainment president and CEO, Kazuki Morishita, at E3 2015.

There, they talked about his experience working with Nintendo, what he thinks of Nintendo making mobile games and his opinion on the Japanese console market.

You can find the main quotes below.

On working with Nintendo:

KM: Working with Nintendo, this was not our first time. We did work with them on a cooperative development thing. [Ed. note: GungHo studio GameArts, which Morishita also leads, co-developed Super Smash Bros. Brawl with Nintendo.]

It’s not our first time working with Nintendo, so there is a pretty good connection. We’ve got a good relationship with them. We’re cooperative with a lot of things, even development. We’ve worked together, as well.

Initially the idea for the Super Mario Bros. Edition popped up when we sort of went rogue and created a Super Mario version. We played around with it a little bit and it was good, so we decided to show it to Nintendo, and they were like, “Wow. This is pretty good.” So that’s sort of how our deal came through.

In Japan, GungHo was the publisher for the title; in North America and Europe, NOA and NOE are the publishers. It’s been a great experience with them. It’s a very cooperative team over there.

On Nintendo making mobile games:

KM: Maybe that’s a question for Nintendo. But it’s an opportunity for them, right? If they decide it’s an opportunity, internally at Nintendo, that’s fine. Does that do anything for us? We just do what we do, and we just go our way and they have their own style of doing things. I think it’s fine.

On the Japanese console market:

KM: From the outside, it probably looks like console is shrinking. But analogy-wise, I’d say, when you jump you bend down and get smaller once, and then you just jump back up. So maybe consoles are going to go back up again.

It’s definitely a challenging market, especially if you’re releasing stuff physically. But if you look at the mobile market right now, it’s already gone past a red ocean to a black ocean. You throw a rock in, and it immediately disappears.

As the market shrinks, that means less people are making it for that market, but that means that there less competitors, so that means that if you make a game it might be a big hit. In terms of Japan’s market, [Nintendo 3DS titles] Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons Mario did well. I’m not completely agreeing with the “decreasing market” in Japan.