Nintendo Isn’t Finished Making Mobile Games After All

Despite what has seemed to be a movement away from mobile games, Nintendo has said that its isn’t quite finished with the mobile app scene yet. In their annual report for 2020, Nintendo states that it is still prepared to devote time and resources to the smartphone platform for the foreseeable future.

In the company’s business overview section of the annual report, Nintendo sets out their long-term business strategy which focuses on the expansion of their IP beyond its core video game console work. Nintendo has been focusing on the Nintendo Switch recently, and seems to have abandoned its mobile gaming sector, but the report also states that the company is looking to expand its consumer base by “recognizing Nintendo IP (including characters and worlds from its games) as its strength,” and using these in a more expansive way to reach as many people as possible, including the growing mobile gaming community.

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Gamesindustry.biz reports that Nintendo spends quite a bit of its annual report discussing its mobile business, referring to it as one of the “target areas” in expanding the use of their IP past their core business. Nintendo is aware of the increasing popularity of mobile games and is willing to capitalize on this as much as possible. Its annual report reads, “We aim for expanding the scope of our business by creating opportunities for consumers to encounter Nintendo IP through smart devices, which have built an extensive installed base worldwide.” Apparently Nintendo isn’t going to stop at mobile products, but aims to extend its IP by using its characters in collaboration with its partners to hit theme park projects, films and even more merchandising.

Nintendo’s mobile business has been one of its less profitable endeavors, fetching $481 million in total in its last financial year, so it makes sense that Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa was not looking into the mobile business with much interest. Nintendo’s mobile business’ lifetime revenue came to $1 billion at the start of 2020, mostly thanks to one title: Fire Emblem Heroes. This may seem like a win, but this number is small in comparison to Nintendo’s competitors in the mobile department. While Nintendo is planning more mobile games for the future, at the moment there are no mobile games that have been announced from Nintendo, and its mobile development partner DeNA says that there won’t be any new apps until the end of the current financial year, ending in March 2021.

While there is nothing to look forward to for smartphones anytime soon, Nintendo says at the end of their report that it will remain flexible, which is good to hear in these uncertain times, and that it will continue to value originality. So it won’t be hopping onto the the mobile games wagon until it has something worth putting on it, and, as Nintendo says in their report, it plans to “continue providing products and services that people will be positively surprised and delighted by.”

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