Report: Nintendo In Discussions To License Its Characters

by Mike Futter on Jan 29, 2014 at 02:24 PM

During Nintendo’s investor briefing, the company revealed that it will be loosening its character licensing approach. While not everything will be licensed, Nintendo is currently in discussions to allow others access to its stable of characters.

The news comes by way of analyst David Gibson, who is at the briefing and translating live via Twitter. According to Gibson, Nintendo will evaluate licensing arrangements to ensure they don’t undermine the company’s own efforts.

It’s not entirely clear yet if this is directly related to games by other developers and publishers or if the licensing agreements are for complementary products. The Wall Street Journal suggests that Nintendo is talking about licensing its characters for other games, though.

[Source: @gibbogame, Wall Street Journal]


Our Take
If Nintendo frees up its IP for other developers and publishers, it could renew interest from third parties. If those games are allowed to be on other platforms, it could be a huge boon for Nintendo, especially if the company is careful not to compete with itself. 

As an example, a Kingdom Hearts type title that blends Nintendo characters with original creations might not be considered competition because it doesn’t replciate something Nintendo is already doing. Giving Square Enix, Activision, and Ubisoft access to the characters to do something entirely new might invigorate consumer interest, also.