We value the impact of Nintendo mobile games two years after entering this business model
At the beginning of 2018 one of the most shocking news of the videogame industry took place: Nintendo accepted the challenge of creating mobile videogames on its great sagas. Since then there have been a good number of releases related to the Mario saga , the Fire Emblem saga , the Animal Crossing saga … However, have they been used properly? Have they been right with your proposal or have they fallen short? Are they convincing users? We discussed it today at our drafting table.
Yes – Jesús Bella
I am convinced that the decision to enter mobile video game development was not easy for Nintendo. In the end, you have to realize that they have always preferred to create games based on their own hardware, and working for such a broad amalgam of Android and iOS devices posed challenges that they had not yet faced. That said, and considering that they never raised the irruption in mobile land as a commercial priority, but as a way to increase the popularity of their brands, I do not think it is fair to say that the opportunity has been missed.
Super Mario Run was a very well solved video game, a platform adapted to the tactile characteristics of these devices. Mario Kart Tour has a rebel control at first, but the truth is that I was hooked for weeks. Fire Emblem Heroes is a very careful game that surprisingly holds the license keys. About Animal Crossing Pocket Camp you yourself said, dear Alberto, that he was faithful to the essence of the saga. Even Dr. Mario World was competent, beyond monetization that was not entirely optimized.
It is clear that some apps have come out better than others, but let”s not lose sight of the crux of the matter. I pointed it out at the beginning: Nintendo doesn”t make much money with this. If we see their latest financial results, mobile phones represent 3.5% of the total sales of the Japanese company. A figure that is far, far away from what Nintendo Switch supposes (an overwhelming 93.6%). In other words, mobile video games were never a priority, and I doubt they will be in the immediate future. That”s why I don”t think licenses are wasted. I think, simply, that they are fulfilling a very different function from that of providing economic returns. Actually, these apps are serving as advertising, as a way to redirect players to the field that Nintendo is really interested in: that of video games for their own consoles.
No – Alberto Pastor
Go ahead that I want to continue enjoying the great Nintendo games on Nintendo consoles, like a lifetime!, But it is inevitable that the Great N jump to mobile devices to, as they themselves recognize, increase popularity of its main franchises. Come on, which is ideal to attract new players who otherwise, surely, would not have known such mythical series as Fire Emblem, to name the biggest success of Nintendo on mobile. However, I also tell you that I don”t think they are making the most of all these licenses.
In their day they said they wanted to create new experiences that will take advantage of mobile phones, but honestly I do not see them. Nor is it asking for a great revolution , but what less to take advantage of technologies such as augmented reality , which once had a certain weight on Nintendo 3DS, or formats such as Pokémon GO , to create experiences that really feel designed for devices mobile. Look at Square Enix, which has done the same with its successful Dragon Quest Walk, hopefully it ends up coming to the West as well.
The point is that beyond Fire Emblem Heroes, which has been an absolute success, the rest of Nintendo”s proposals have not finished taking off. It seems they neither convince veterans, nor do they have enough hook to attract a new generation of players. And in a way I understand it because they feel like mini versions of the original titles, so to play more of the same but more limited… well, I”m sorry, I keep the original. I appreciate that Nintendo puts its reputation above micropayments, but being true to its essence, they should also be more ambitious when creating more original proposals.
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