Nintendo President Vague on Company's Metaverse Plan

Shuntaro Furukawa remains noncommittal to the metaverse, while investors target Nintendo's stock as an undervalued metaverse play

AccessTimeIconFeb 3, 2022 at 12:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 3, 2022 at 4:28 p.m. UTC

The president of Nintendo says the video game 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 (virtual reality) 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." That deal is being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • 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 (non-fungible tokens) and crypto projects that use the likenesses of its characters.
  • Despite Nintendo’s noncommittal stance on the metaverse, many metaverse indexes hold the company's stock. Nintendo makes up about 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.

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