Commit to Mobile
Nintendo has only just started to breach the mobile market, releasing two mobile titles in the last year, besides Pokemon GO which was developed by Niantic. It’s been a slow process, and clearly Nintendo has taken time and care with both Miitomo and Super Mario Run. Despite this, reception to Nintendo’s mobile titles has been a little lukewarm.
Miitomo shot up the charts at its release, and it was definitely an incredibly unique concept, but the game just didn’t have any staying power. The gimmick rubbed off a little too quick, and Miitomo quickly lost players. Mario Run on the other hand, rocketed to the very top of the app charts mere hours after its release. The $10 purchase to unlock the full game may not be enough of an incentive for players to drop money on, however, as they can just continuously play Toad Rally. There’s no doubt that Mario Run has made decent money, but a new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that while the game has been downloaded 90 million times, only 3 million have made the purchase.
This isn’t necessarily a new thing for mobile games though, as other monumental titles have also had trouble getting users to make a purchase. Before being purchased by Activision, only 2% of monthly users for King Digital’s Candy Crush were paying customers. This means that in the future Nintendo is going to have to experiment with new pay models, gameplay styles, and more. It’s also important to note that we’ve been waiting for mobile iterations of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem since they were announced last April. Both titles were originally intended to be out last fall, but eight months after their announcement we still don’t know any more about them than we did at the time.
Nintendo is definitely going to need to implement a more structured release schedule for their mobile titles, and keep a stream of updates and new content coming to them to keep players engaged. Their initial experiments with the platform were interesting, but they’ll have to up the ante from here.