Notice: To display this embed please allow the use of Functional Cookies in Cookie Preferences.
Nintendo is reportedly cooling its commitment to mobile games
Platform holder said to be concerned monetisation models could harm its brands
Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa is said to have told Japanese media last month that the company was “not necessarily looking to continue releasing many new applications for the mobile market.”
According to Bloomberg, Nintendo is disappointed by the revenues it’s achieved so far from titles such as Mario Kart Tour and Fire Emblem Heroes.
In addition, the company is said to be unsatisfied by the limitations of the mobile platform from a game design perspective.
“The company believes its franchises shine brightest when coupled with designed-by-Nintendo controllers and it’s never been fully comfortable with the touchscreen-only interface of a phone,” Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg claims Nintendo has asked its mobile development partners not to force players to spend a lot in games, fearing it could harm its game brands.
So far, over half of Nintendo’s mobile revenue has reportedly come from Fire Emblem, with the title’s gacha monetisation model proving fruitful, according to Sensor Tower data, with an average revenue-per-download of $41.
The next two highest-grossing Nintendo titles, as of January 2020, are Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which accounted for 12 percent of all user spending, followed by Dragalia Lost at 11 percent.
Nintendo’s Mario titles have seen huge download numbers but have fared worst in terms of mobile spend, according to Sensor Tower, with Mario Kart Tour and Super Mario Run contributing overall revenue shares of 8 and 7 percent, and Dr. Mario World less than 1 percent.
During the virus lockdown period of February through May, Sensor Tower data showed Nintendo titles like Super Mario Run declining by double digits, when other studios were posting record earnings.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp saw a 45 percent increase in earnings, likely on the back of the Switch game’s huge success.
Nintendo’s move into mobile games was spurred by the commercial failure of the Wii U. But with Nintendo Switch seeing huge success around the world, it appears the company has reassessed its commitment to smartphones.
Nintendo has experimented with new revenue models for its mobile titles, with both Mario Kart Tour and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp launching subscription services.
Isao Moriyasu, the president of Nintendo’s main mobile development partner DeNA, is quoted as saying there will not be any new mobile apps from the company until near the end of the current fiscal year, which suggests a long wait until Nintendo’s next mobile game.