While Sony and Microsoft made headlines in January for their acquisitions of Bungie and Activision Blizzard respectfully, Nintendo has been largely silent on the topic of consolidation in the gaming industry. In its latest investor Q&A, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa addressed the matter and spoke about how the company would rather prioritize investing in the developers that it already owns, explaining a need to retain the “Nintendo DNA” of these studios.
“I really have a hard time imagining which of the big ones they could even be interested in buying,” Furukawa said of the current acquisitions race, per Bloomberg. “Nintendo will always stay Nintendo. The company has always relied on first-party games, and I don’t see any reason why they should change. Our brand was built upon products crafted with dedication by our employees, and having a large number of people who don’t possess Nintendo DNA in our group would not be a plus to the company.”
While Nintendo has worked with outside studios before–last year’s Metroid Dread was developed by Spanish studio Mercury Steam–it has continued to invest heavily in its development studios. Last year the company announced that almost $870 million would be used to support its studios, and would only consider acquisitions if the developer in question could offer technology and expertise that Nintendo would find too costly to replicate by itself.
The last time that Nintendo bought another studio was in January 2021, when Next Level Games was acquired. Considering how Next Level had collaborated with Nintendo for many years before it was purchased, it likely had the essential DNA that the company was looking for.
2021 has been a great year for Nintendo, as it announced that the Switch had become its best-selling home console of all time, outselling the classic Wii. Its latest Pokemon games are also doing well on the market, further solidifying its decision to avoid going on a studio buying spree for now.