Nintendo working on new mobile games, but “not necessarily looking to continue releasing many new applications”
It was only a few years ago that Nintendo delved into the mobile market. We’ve seen a number of titles pop up on iOS and Android based on popular IPs, including Mario, Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem. There’s also been a completely original game in Dragalia Lost.
Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said during Nintendo’s financial results conference call last week that it is “continuing to develop new applications” for smartphones. However, he did caution: “we are not necessarily looking to continue releasing many new applications for the mobile market as much as we are looking at the continuation of our mobile business as a way to make active use of Nintendo IP (game characters, worlds, and so on) in the interest of maximizing the entirety of Nintendo’s business.”
Here’s the full exchange regarding Nintendo and mobile:
I’d like to hear your thoughts about the lineup and revenue for mobile applications for this fiscal year.
Regarding the development of our mobile business, while focusing on operating the six applications that are currently available, we are continuing to develop new applications. As for these new applications, we are not yet at the stage where we can announce any new information.
Considering how we will position our mobile business in the future, we are not necessarily looking to continue releasing many new applications for the mobile market as much as we are looking at the continuation of our mobile business as a way to make active use of Nintendo IP (game characters, worlds, and so on) in the interest of maximizing the entirety of Nintendo’s business. For us, the direct purpose of releasing mobile applications is to bring games that use Nintendo IP to the large install base of smart devices worldwide, bringing more consumers into contact with the worlds of Nintendo games and also bringing ongoing services to fans of individual Nintendo IP on mobile platforms. For example, Super Mario Run has been downloaded on over 400 million devices, and Mario Kart Tour continues to be played by a very large number of consumers. As a more recent example, the number of active and new users of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has increased greatly in tandem with the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. On the other hand, we believe Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has become a good way to invigorate the entire Animal Crossing IP and for potential Animal Crossing: New Horizons players to recognize the franchise. We want to use these activities to expand our contacts with consumers who are introduced to Nintendo’s unique entertainment proposals.
Regarding the earnings forecast for this fiscal year, we are not expecting a major increase in sales for the mobile business.