Nintendo Retreats from Smartphone Gaming

Image: Nintendo

Over the past years, Nintendo has released numerous games for Android and iOS, such as Super Mario Run, Dr. Mario World, and Mario Kart Tour. Evidently, they weren’t doing all that well, as the Japanese gaming giant has decided to pull the plug on the potentially lucrative smartphone market.

“President Shuntaro Furukawa proclaimed two years ago that smartphone games would be a $1 billion business with growth potential, building on his predecessor’s promise that Nintendo would release two to three mobile titles each year,” Bloomberg reported. “That spurred hopes among investors that the gaming powerhouse could carve out a substantial slice of the market. In May, however, the president adopted a markedly different tune, saying ‘We are not necessarily looking to continue releasing many new applications for the mobile market.'”

The revenue data provided by Sensor Tower (below) says it all, really. Out of four mobile titles – Dragalia Lost, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Cross Pocket Camp – only one managed to capture a positive year-on-year revenue change. And even that paled in comparison to the success of its competitors, such as PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS’s mobile edition, which saw a 164 percent year-on-year increase in revenue.

Image: Bloomberg

On the bright side, Nintendo can turn its entire focus on console and traditional handheld gaming, where it’s already flourishing. The company has hit major sales records with the Switch in the past few months, with systems selling out left and right due to the lockdowns imposed by the ongoing pandemic.

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