Kazuki Morishita is the CEO of GungHo, the Japanese company best known for its mobile game Puzzle & Dragons. The international hit, which has made the company more than $1 billion in profits in the last two years, overshadows the company’s other console-focused brands and studios, including No More Heroes maker Grasshopper Manufacture, Grandia creator Game Arts, and Tenchu developer Acquire.
Intelligence firm Digi-capital says that mobile gaming will top $45 billion by 2018, overtaking console gaming revenues. It’s the same for GungHo — mobile games make up the majority of its revenues now. But Morishita doesn’t foresee a mobile-only future, and he admits to preferring console games over their mobile counterparts.
GamesBeat: Would you say that’s a personal interest? As an individual who plays games, would you personally rather play console or portable games than mobile?
Morishita: I definitely only play console games.
GamesBeat: That’s interesting given the popularity of your titles right now.
Morishita: From a creator’s point of view, it’s always better to have an equal amount of titles out on different platforms. It cultivates your creativity and helps you come up with new ideas. It’s good for the creative process. In terms of mobile, the people who play mobile titles, a lot of them I’m sure have never picked up a console controller. The mobile market is interesting that way. It’s reaching out to people who aren’t already gamers, per se.
GamesBeat: Your crossover with Puzzle & Dragons and Mario, is that an attempt to bridge that gap? In a more general sense, do you think it’s worthwhile to try to bridge the gap between console and mobile users?
Morishita: Back in 2011, we were coming up with a new concept for Puzzle & Dragons. I came to the conclusion that our target audience for the 3DS version—I wanted it to be kids, kids who don’t have smartphones. I’ve always wanted to release the game for 3DS and reach more of that audience. The target audience for PZD Mario is definitely much younger than the smartphone crowd. Going back to your question, GungHo’s goal with that title is to reach out to a broader audience with the core gameplay of the series.