The president of Nintendo says the games company will hold off on expanding into the metaverse until it can be sure that the medium will provide the “surprise and fun” its players expect.
The comments by Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa were made during an earnings news conference Thursday, Reuters reported.This comes a week after another giant in the Japanese gaming industry, PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi, came out against the metaverse calling it “isolating” and VR headsets “annoying”.In contrast to this hesitation on the metaverse, in mid-January Microsoft acquired game developer Activision for $69 billion, the largest gaming deal in history, as it said the move would “provide building blocks for the metaverse”. This deal is currently being reviewed by the FTC.Historically, Nintendo has been extremely protective of its intellectual property (IP) and prefers to keep it in-house rather than licensing it to third parties. On expanding Nintendo’s empire through licensing, Furukawa said: “It wouldn’t be a plus to suddenly bring in people who don’t have Nintendo’s way of thinking.”This has been to the chagrin of Nintendo’s investors, who want the company to expand its IP licensing regime and embrace mobile gaming.The company has aggressively gone after NFTs and crypto projects that use the likenesses of its characters.Despite Nintendo’s non-committal stance on the metaverse, many metaverse indices hold it in their basket. Nintendo makes up approximately 5% of Solactive’s Metaverse index which is traded on markets in Germany. The stock has also been called an “overlooked” and “undervalued” metaverse play.