Bloomberg recently claimed that Nintendo would be “chilling” its mobile ambitions due to poor profits from titles such as Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, but apparently, the Japanese gaming giant is still invested in the smartphone market. During a recent Q&A session with shareholders, president Shuntaro Furukawa confirmed that mobile gaming was still “strategically important” for luring new users into its ecosystem and getting people to sign up for Nintendo accounts.
“In addition to generating revenue and profit, our basic strategy with the mobile business is to expand the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP,” explained Furukawa. “For example, we have broadened the fan base for Nintendo IP like Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, and Mario Kart, and in doing so increased our points of contact with consumers. The mobile business is also strategically important for the expansion of Nintendo Accounts, which support our relationships with consumers.”
“Sales from the mobile business do not account for a very large percentage of Nintendo’s overall business, but the mobile business itself is significant in that it provides a wide range of consumers a way other than Nintendo Switch to continue to enjoy playing games using Nintendo IP over a long period. When global distribution of the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp app began in the fall of 2017, for example, it introduced many female consumers and US consumers to the Animal Crossing series, and those same consumers later went on to purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons and a Nintendo Switch console. And starting with Mario Kart Tour, mobile applications have proven to be a great opportunity for people to create Nintendo Accounts. In ways like these, the mobile business with its multiple objectives is contributing to the sustainable growth of the overall Nintendo business.”
Furukawa also apologized for the Joy-Con stick-drft fiasco, which has incited legal action from Switch users. “Regarding the Joy-Con controllers, we apologize for any inconvenience experienced by consumers,” he said. “We are continuously working to improve our products, but because Joy-Con controllers are currently subject to a class-action lawsuit in the US, I have no information to share about any specific actions we have taken.”