Nintendo president, Shuntaro Furukawa stated that the Super Mario Bros. movie helped Nintendo in growing its Switch console business in new international markets during a recent Q&A session following Nintendo’s Q3 financial results for fiscal year 2024.
Nintendo released their third-quarter fiscal year 2024 numbers earlier this week. Following that breakdown, investors had a chance to ask questions in accordance with tradition. A couple of investors wanted to know more about Nintendo’s strategy to grow its company into areas where it hasn’t historically had a significant presence during that Q&A.
Shuntaro Furukawa shed light on how The Super Mario Bros. Movie served as a catalyst for Nintendo’s outreach beyond its established markets in the United States, the UK, and Japan. The movie’s success drew attention to Nintendo’s Switch games, enticing movie-goers to explore the gaming console.
Responding to questions about the movie’s impact in regions lacking a Nintendo Switch presence, Furukawa pointed out that the distribution and screening territories for the Super Mario Bros. Movie are far wider than those for the nations and regions in which the Nintendo Switch is offered. Notably, Central and South America exhibited a positive reception to the film, prompting Nintendo to enhance promotional activities in Mexico during the recent holiday season.
Furukawa also revealed ongoing efforts to expand Nintendo’s sales channels in Southeast Asia and boost its visibility across a broader customer base. The goal is to use Nintendo Switch to build early relationships with users in these areas and use that foundation as a springboard for additional business ventures.
Acknowledging challenges posed by hardware pricing barriers in certain regions, Furukawa further expressed determination to introduce Nintendo’s intellectual property (IP) and foster familiarity. Nintendo aims to encourage engagement with the company’s core business of dedicated gaming consoles through a variety of continuous initiatives.
Below are the translated excerpts from the Q&A session regarding the expansion of Nintendo Switch and the impact of The Super Mario Bros. Movie:
Q: It’s said that the Super Mario Bros. Movie was shown and watched by many people in regions where the dedicated game console business does not have a presence in. I would like to ask if the company is thinking to expand the dedicated game console business to regions where the Nintendo Switch isn’t offered yet based on where the movie succeeded in.
Furukawa: There is a vast difference between the regions where the movie (Super Mario Bros.) was shown and the countries and regions where Nintendo Switch is being sold. Among them, South America, and in particular, Mexico, where the movie was shown, we have conducted promotions that are beyond what we have done in the past in the holiday season. As a result, even though hardware sales are declining as a whole, sales in Mexico have increased.
Also, the Southeast Asian market is expanding, and we are taking initatives to reach and have more customers know about Nintendo. In these regions, first, we want to make connections with our customers through Nintendo Switch, and make use of that foundation for our future businesses.
Q: I would like to dig a little deeper into how you are planning to increase the sales in the “Other” region by using the movie. I think there are various bottlenecks to expanding sales in the “Other” region, but I would like to know what kind of issues are there and if there are possibilites to radically solving them. The pricing of hardware is something that is a particular issue.
Furukawa: The pricing of hardware is one of the issues to expanding the business in the “Other” region, and while we weren’t able to find a start to expanding our dedicated game console business up till now, we were able to do so through the movie (Super Mario Bros.), which increased the opportunities of exposing people to our IP.
Outside of dedicated game consoles, we are using our mobile apps and other methods to reach customers in such regions. Last year, we expanded pop-up stores of our official stores in Japan to South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc, and there was an extremey high number of customers that visited and purchased products.
Also, concerning theme parks, besides Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Hollywood, Super Nintendo World is planned to open in Orlando and Singapore. Even in regions where the pricing of hardware is an issue, we are using IP as a step to make customers familiar with the Nintendo brand, and finally have them play games on our dedicated game consoles. We will continue such measures in the future.
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