Yesterday, Nintendo was able to report its first quarterly profit in a year as its mobile games division started to generate revenue, but it wasn't enough for disappointed investors who had hoped profit from games like Super Mario Run would have grown fast enough to offset falling earnings in Nintendo's console business. Shares of Nintendo Co Ltd dropped more than 4 percent on Wednesday following the news.
Launched in December, Super Mario Run helped third-quarter revenue from mobile gaming and related merchandise reach around 7 billion yen ($61.7 million). So far downloads have hit around 78 million, although Nintendo admitted less than 10 percent of users paid the one-off $9.99 fee to unlock all of the game's features. Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said it would be taking steps to make the game last longer for people who had paid as well as those had yet to do so.
"We are taking a number of steps to ensure that Super Mario Run can be enjoyed for a long time, both by those who have already made the full purchase and by those who have downloaded the application but not yet made the purchase. We are also taking steps in-game to raise the ratio of purchases among consumers downloading the application for the first time."Putting its plans into action, Nintendo yesterday rolled out an update to Super Mario Run that includes a collection of feature additions and bug fixes, along with a new "Easy Mode".
Nintendo's next title, the tactical role-playing game Fire Emblem Heroes, launches on iOS tomorrow, and is a radical departure from Super Mario Run, not least because it will be a free-to-pay title, favoring micro transactions and in-game currency over a one-off unlock payment. However, like Super Mario Run, Heroes will require players to have a persistent internet connection in order to play.
Nintendo's other planned mobile game is a currently untitled iOS version of Animal Crossing, which is expected to launch in the next fiscal year, so anytime between April 2017 and March 2018.