Nintendo Details Jump in Smartphone Game Profits Following 'Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp' Launch

by

Nintendo recently reported earnings for its fiscal third quarter of 2017, including data related to the company's two-year-old smartphone game business. In the report, Nintendo confirmed that its smart device and intellectual property related earnings increased from 10.6 billion yen (about $98 million) in the nine months ended December 31, 2016 to 29.1 billion yen (about $267 million) in the same period in 2017.

While this includes income from Nintendo's smartphone games as well as royalty income, Bloomberg reported that Nintendo's smartphone game profits specifically grew from 8.8 billion yen in the year-ago quarter to 11.2 billion yen this fiscal quarter. The only smartphone game that launched this fiscal quarter for Nintendo was Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which is said to have generated $17 million globally and reached a download number of 22 million since its launch in November. The other major smartphone game to debut from Nintendo in 2017 was Fire Emblem Heroes.


Nintendo said it plans to get its players to continue returning to and enjoying previously released iOS and Android games through ongoing updates, not including the recently confirmed imminent shut down of its first iOS app Miitomo.

In our smart-device business, consumers not only continued to enjoy Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, which became available for download during the previous fiscal year, but also had fun with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, released globally during October and November. Smart devices and IP related income were up to 29.1 billion yen (172% increase on a year-on-year basis).

In our smart-device business, we will focus on operations that encourage more consumers to continue to enjoy playing the applications that they have downloaded

Although Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp are free-to-download apps, they're believed to net Nintendo more of a profit in the long run thanks to players who become enticed to spend money on in-app purchases. Alternatively, Super Mario Run is a free-to-start app where users can play a few levels and then must spend $9.99 to gain access to the full game.

At one point, Nintendo described the freemium model of Fire Emblem Heroes as an "outlier" in its overall smartphone game plan and that it prefers Super Mario Run's pay-once structure, but so far that's been the only app to go that route. Additionally, the company's previous earnings report mentioned Super Mario Run had yet to reach an "acceptable profit point" around 10 months after launch.

Otherwise, Nintendo's earnings report detailed a huge success for the company's Switch console, selling 12.13 million units from April to December 2017 and now totaling 14.86 million units sold to date. Upon this report, Nintendo increased its operating profit outlook from 120 billion yen to 160 billion yen for the year ending March 2018, and bumped up the Switch sales forecast from the already-surpassed 14 million units to 15 million units for the same period.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
35 months ago
You're welcome, Nintendo. I'm a Pocket Camp addict and I am sure I contributed to some of that profit buying leaf tickets.:D The game can easily be enjoyed without spending a dime, but I'm a nut. I went crazy for the Rover set. I have some great friends who helped me get all the butterflies necessary to complete the set.

Most of my friends apparently are Japanese. I had to download kana charts to refresh my memory on how to read the characters so I could learn their screen names properly.

Unfortunately the newest characters and sets are clown themed. It's a bit disconcerting talking to a clown sheep. I'm sure the Japanese think this is all cute and cool, but I'm having constant flashbacks to Pennywise the Clown. :eek:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
Nintendo is so doomed, they should go third party.:rolleyes:

Oh how things have changed.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago

The failure rate for the butterfly capture (to get the Rover set items) was definitely high enough to trigger Rover maniacs like me who wanted the complete set to buy leaf tickets to give to the Lloid to ensure all the butterflies from a given crop of flowers was caught before the expiration date. I also wanted to have enough butterflies on hand to help some of my friends make their goals. I saw only a very small few players who managed to get everything in the set like I did. And I know I did that with the help of leaf tickets.

I could definitely tell I was being manipulated but I factored it into my entertainment or “mom budget”. I have sort of a rough idea of what my peers are spending on lunches and spa dates and salon appointments and designer what’s-its and since I don’t indulge in any of those things, I put my me-budget to getting the Rover camper. Lol.

It still must work out to a lot less than I begged off my mom in quarters to play Centipede and Galaga in the arcade as a teenager!

As I was playing and tallying up what I spent on leaf tickets the past couple of months I did wonder how the game was performing for Nintendo. I hope it’s a success because it’s a lot of fun (for the right personality—the hubby and kids can’t get into it at all) and I want to see them continue to build on it and make more games for the smart phones. I have a Nintendo 3DS XL and hope to get a Switch someday. But it’s definitely convenient to be able to game on my phone.

I spend so much of my life waiting around. Waiting for doctors appointments to be over. Waiting for kids to be done with sports or something else so I can chauffeur them to the next thing. Games like this are a sanity saver. Most of the time I’m with other people I enjoy talking to. But every now and then I get stuck among a clique of people who let me know I’m not cool enough to be part of their conversations, so it’s fun to pull out the games and blatantly ignore them in turn. :rolleyes:

I like the game a lot too. A lot of nostalgia factor for me. Being able to pick it up for eight minutes here and there to do a round of requests and then put it down again is nice with my busy schedule (say compared to trying a block out a couple hours to raid in WoW, I can't be a real gamer).

I completed the Rover event too but I had to consciously do those rotations rather than just be random about it (I wanted the challenge of completing without Lloyd :) ). Bats have a better catch rate and should be about 20% easier to complete than Rover's challenge. Still going to be a grind though!

Maybe there are more people than I suspect having Lloyd catch though in which case Nintendo could be doing really well on this. The second half of Rover would take 800 tickets to get every butterfly needed which I think equate to about $30. Not bad if there are a lot of people serious about completion. I bought some tickets just to support the game (ended up buying the van skins with them) but I haven't encountered anything in the game that I needed them for yet. We'll see how bats go starting tonight :)

edit: just saw we only need 25 of the final bat for the Lottie event. No grinding, it will be easy.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
I tried Animal Crossing Camp but did not enjoy it. Granted I only played for maybe up to an hour in its opening week. What that experience told me though was to get back into Animal Crossing New Leaf on my 3DS. And boy was it a good reminder of that game.... I bought it back in 2013 and had put 400 hours into it but stopped playing maybe a year ago. However I’m back addicted to it.

New Leaf is such a beautiful game I cannot wait to get the inevitable Switch version. As far as Pocket Camp goes.... well it’s too shallow for me but I understand the desire for simple shallow games. I understand not everyone can put as much time into games as others.

It’s worth noting Nintendo have had an incredible year thanks to the Switch and a boom in 3DS sales thanks to its new discounted price. I believe I read somewhere it’s the best year they’ve had in 8 years as the Wii U flopped. I simply can’t believe how good the Nintendo switch is though. By far the best video games system ever made its that good!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
Nintendo is learning what mobile content creators have known for years. Freemium is the de facto mobile commerce model. The loud minority (I am one of them) rail against IAP. The silent majority continually spends copious amounts of money on the exact thing we rail against. If Nintendo remains in mobile, I'd bet more of their offerings will lean towards the freemium model than the pay once model.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago

You're welcome, Nintendo. I'm a Pocket Camp addict and I am sure I contributed to some of that profit buying leaf tickets.:D The game can easily be enjoyed without spending a dime, but I'm a nut. I went crazy for the Rover set. I have some great friends who helped me get all the butterflies necessary to complete the set.

Most of my friends apparently are Japanese. I had to download kana charts to refresh my memory on how to read the characters so I could learn their screen names properly.

Unfortunately the newest characters and sets are clown themed. It's a bit disconcerting talking to a clown sheep. I'm sure the Japanese think this is all cute and cool, but I'm having constant flashbacks to Pennywise the Clown. :eek:

get ready for bats in 15 hours :-O

edit: I'm surprised that this is generating much revenue (although the article is reading tea leaves and it may also be disappointing their targets). Until recently it was hard to see where people would spend money on the game given how easily you can obtain the in game currency and how relatively expensive it would be to purchase small items with real world money. Over the past few weeks they seem to have really cranked up the difficulty of spawn and catch rates which to me seemed like an attempt to force people into paying for leaf tickets to complete events. It seemed like a sign of desperation and an indicator that the game was not close to targets. More "tea leaves" though and we'll have to wait for a more concrete statement in a future earnings call. As a person who plays the game though I think they've struggled to (and really haven't yet) achieve balance.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Top Stories: Apple Event Recap, Apple Watch Series 6, Redesigned iPad Air, and More

Saturday September 19, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week's news was obviously dominated by Apple's media event and the launch of iOS 14, but there was a lot to digest, so check out our summary below for the high-level view of the past week. With the exception of the massively redesigned iPad Air, all of the new hardware introduced this week is starting to appear on store shelves and on customers' doorsteps, while all of the new software...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...