Nintendo Planning To Release "More Than Three" Smartphone Games a Year

Nintendo Planning To Release "More Than Three" Smartphone Games a Year

Mobile is going to be a growing pillar of Nintendo's business moving forward.

Super Mario Run has proven to be a success for Nintendo and it's only the beginning. Nintendo already announced mobile entries in the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem franchises, but it looks like the company won't be slowing down on its mobile efforts in 2017 and beyond. In two separate interviews with Japanese publications, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said that Nintendo would be releasing two or more mobile games per year.

The first interview was with Kyoto Shimbun (translated via Dr. Serkan Toto), where Kimishima said Nintendo planned to release 2-3 smartphone titles per year from 2017 on. In the second interview with Sankei (also translated via Dr. Serkan Toto), Kimishima upped that number to "more than three smartphone games" per year. Kimishima further said that the business model for each game will be dependent on the game type, so not every game will have Super Mario Run's shareware model.

This makes sense, as the ratio of development cost to revenue for Super Mario Run is probably wildly in Nintendo's favor. It's likely that once you factor in additional costs like distribution and marketing, Nintendo's mobile business will likely outstrip its home console side. For Nintendo, the mobile side also helps bring consumers back to the console business.

"Certainly when we first embarked on our mobile strategy, a key element for us was the idea of bringing our characters and [intellectual property] to a much broader audience," Miyamoto said earlier this month. "But I think we were surprised by the impact that [Pokémon Go] has had in terms of bringing that audience back to our own games."

Pokemon Go's reception improved the sales of older Pokemon titles. This August, 3DS hardware sales were up 80 percent year-over-year, as were sales of Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, which came out in 2014. Pokemon X/Y sales were up 200 percent, which is great for a title that came out in late 2013. Pokemon Sun/Moon, sold 7.1 million units within a few weeks, something Nintendo attributed to Pokemon Go.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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