We plan to release both of these applications in fall 2016.
Both of these are pure game applications. Compared to Miitomo, they have more prominent game elements, so consumers will be able to play as they like, and the game content will connect to our business.
As for Miitomo, our first priority was to bring more consumers around the world in contact with Nintendo entertainment. Items are available as in-game purchases for consumers who want to deepen their experience, but we have designed Miitomo so that it is possible to have plenty of fun enjoying this new mode of communication even without making in-game purchases.
As a result, users are enjoying Miitomo across the globe, with over 75% of users outside of Japan at present.
We expect this percentage to rise even higher in the future as we consider service expansions to South America and Asia.
We believe this shows that Nintendo has made real progress in advancing our smart device business on a global scale.
We will follow Miitomo by releasing new applications using the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing IPs globally, and our plan has not changed in terms of releasing around five titles by March 2017.
Along with Miitomo, we also began service on our new membership program, My Nintendo.
Consumers can obtain a dedicated Nintendo Account to use the My Nintendo services.
For example, consumers receive Platinum Points for playing Miitomo, and can exchange these points for services related to many of Nintendo's games, such as in-game items or tickets for use in Miitomo or discount coupons for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games.
Since the launch of global service for Miitomo, the number of My Nintendo users has also been increasing steadily.
We expect that the launch of new applications using the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing IPs will expand our membership even more.
Now I would like to explain about the changes in Nintendo's corporate governance system as resolved in the meeting of the Board of Directors held yesterday. We resolved to transition to a system with an audit and supervisory committee, and to introduce an executive officer system.
The intent of this transition is to create an audit and supervisory committee with a majority of external directors to strengthen the auditing and oversight over the Board of Directors and enhance our corporate governance.
As for the timing of this transition, we will transition once we have the necessary changes to the company statutes approved at the general meeting of shareholders for the 76th fiscal term, to be held this year on June 29th.
The purpose of introducing an executive officer system is to separate business decision-making and oversight from business execution, and to delegate authority for executing business.
This clarifies the responsibility for business execution and enables us to create a flexible management system that can respond quickly and effectively to sudden changes in our business environment.
This concludes today's presentation.
Finally, about three hours ago, at Safeco Field which is the home for the MLB's Seattle Mariners, Mr. Howard Lincoln, who is the CEO of the team and a board member of Nintendo of America Inc., announced the planned sale of its majority interest in the Seattle Mariners to other members of the team’s current ownership group. An agreement has been reached that Nintendo of America will retain a 10% stake in the team, while the remainder of its holdings will be sold to other members of First Avenue Entertainment LLLP, namely, to other existing minority owners of the team. First Avenue Entertainment LLLP is the limited partnership that owns the Seattle Mariners, and a majority interest in ROOT Sports NW. Closing the transaction is subject to the finalization of legal contracts and approval from Major League Baseball which is expected in August of this year. We will then close the sale and Mr. Lincoln will resign as the Mariners CEO.
As many of you know, Nintendo of America Inc., which is headquartered in the Seattle area, was approached by local representatives in the early 1990s and invited to invest in the team, which was at risk of being moved away from the region. The late Hiroshi Yamauchi, at that time the president of Nintendo Co., Ltd., agreed to spend his own money to purchase the majority ownership of the team in order to show Nintendo’s appreciation to the U.S. for helping Nintendo do business in the country, and to contribute to the local residents and area. He became the principal owner of the team in 1992.
Mr. Yamauchi passed away in 2013. Due consideration had been made before his death and his ownership had already been transferred to Nintendo of America in order to ensure the team would remain in the area. Then Mr. Satoru Iwata, who had been overseeing the team as the new president of Nintendo after Mr. Yamauchi, as well serving as the CEO of Nintendo of America, passed away last year. This sad occurrence, along with Mr. Lincoln’s desire to relinquish day-to-day leadership for the team, prompted this decision.
As president and, then, the chairman of Nintendo of America, I personally observed the great efforts and contributions that Mr. Lincoln made during the past 17 years as the team’s CEO and the chairman. He worked to keep the team within the region and generated continued support from local residents. He has been a very reliable partner for me especially on the business affairs concerning the Mariners even after I returned to Japan and started working at Nintendo Co., Ltd. Now that Mr. Yamauchi and Mr. Iwata have passed away, and Mr. Lincoln has shown his desire to retire as CEO of the team, and especially because we can be now certain that the team will remain in the region and can grow, Nintendo of America has negotiated a sale of its majority interest to the current minority owners.
Since the subject sales profit has not been incorporated into the annual financial forecast we announced yesterday, if and when the sales contract is executed and approved by MLB, we will make the appropriate timely disclosure such as modifying the financial forecast. For your information, we will negotiate the deal by assuming the comprehensive asset value of First Avenue Entertainment LLLP as being 1.4 billion U.S. dollars.
Although Mr. Howard Lincoln will remain as a board member of the team and of Nintendo of America after his retirement from the CEO of the Seattle Mariners, I would like to take this opportunity to express my great appreciation for his shouldering and carrying out the huge responsibilities for both Nintendo and the Seattle Mariners, and for his splendid leadership.