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Nintendo Looking for Additional Mobile Software Developers After DeNA Partnership Falls Behind Schedule

Nintendo is looking to hire more software developers to help it create mobile video games in the vein of Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. According to people familiar with the matter speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has decided to expand its roster of smartphone game developers after its partnership with DeNA "fell behind schedule." Nintendo and DeNA first announced their partnership in March 2015, and then a few months later in May 2015 explained their schedule: the companies would release their first iOS game that year, and then five more before March 2017. By October 2015, the first Nintendo mobile app -- Miitomo -- was pushed back to 2016, marking the first delay of the company's long term smartphone strategy release plan. Eventually, Miitomo launched in March 2016, Super Mario Run launched in December 2016, Fire Emblem Heroes launched in February 2017, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp just launched in November 2017. Besides Super Mario Run, every mobile game released by Nintendo and made by DeNA was delayed at some point. Now, Nintendo is looking to introduce new collaborations with other software developers and "raise the pace of new titles" so that these games don't face as heavy delays as they did previously. While Nintendo took a 10 percent ownership stake in DeNA when it partnered with the company, sources knowledgeable of the new plan stated that it "isn't planning" to do that again with any new developer partners. Nintendo reported less than ¥20 billion ($176 million) in revenue in the year ended in March 2017 from

Nintendo Launches First Holiday Event in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Nintendo last week launched its newest iOS game, a mobile version of Animal Crossing called Pocket Camp, and it's already being updated with new content in the form of a special holiday event. Typical Animal Crossing games feature special events that take place on a regular basis, and it appears Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is no exception. The new Christmas-themed event will allow players to earn limited-time clothing items and craft holiday-themed furniture. To get the holiday items, players need to fulfill timed goals and complete quests for visiting animals to earn candy canes, so the holiday gameplay is essentially identical to standard gameplay, but with the ability to earn special items. It takes a lot of candy canes to unlock items, but Nintendo's event will last from November 29 to December 25. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

'Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp' Begins Early Worldwide Rollout on the iOS App Store [Update]

One month after its announcement during a Nintendo Direct in late October, Nintendo today has begun rolling out Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp onto iOS [Direct Link] and Android devices worldwide, following a limited soft launch in Australia. The game was announced to be coming out tomorrow, November 22, but it has begun appearing on the iOS App Store for some users in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, and France, and potentially other markets where it is launching. The new game is Nintendo's fourth mobile app created in partnership with developer DeNA and follows Miitomo (launched March 2016), Super Mario Run (December 2016), and Fire Emblem Heroes (February 2017). Similar to the latter two games, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a mobile-optimized version of its franchise's larger console games, and introduces a few new features into the traditional Animal Crossing gameplay to streamline certain actions for one-handed smartphone sessions. For example, both fishing and bug hunting are as simple as tapping on the screen, and the world that the player occupies -- centered around a campsite -- is scaled down from the villages of games like New Leaf and Wild World. The main mechanic of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp centers on convincing animal villagers to stick around at your campsite by foraging for materials and crafting their favorite furniture. Outside of the camp, there is also a beach, river, island, and other areas that are accessible through your camper, which you can also customize and decorate to your liking. Additionally, you can visit your real

Nintendo Sets 'Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp' Release Date for November 22

Nintendo on Twitter today confirmed that the company's upcoming iOS game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, will launch worldwide on November 22. The confirmation of a release date comes nearly one month after the game was first unveiled in late October, after which it soft launched on the Australian iOS App Store and climbed to the top of the charts there faster than either Super Mario Run or Fire Emblem Heroes. When it launches later this week, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be a miniaturized version of the main games in the series, allowing players to visit and manage a campsite in lieu of a full village. At the camp, players can decorate the location with furniture to attract certain animal characters, as well as go fishing, hunt for bugs, shop, and more to complete quests and craft items to further deck out the camp. Have you heard the news? Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be coming to mobile devices worldwide on 11/22! #PocketCamp pic.twitter.com/jShJwDgnls— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 20, 2017 Just like the other games in the series, time passes in real time so when you open the app the game will reflect the time of day in the real world, subsequently affecting certain bug and fish spawns and allowing for upcoming seasonal events. There's also a social aspect that allows players to visit the camps of their friends to get inspired by their designs, and sell or exchange items with them. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be free-to-play, and uses optional "Leaf Tickets" so players can bypass long wait times when they build structures,

Nintendo Says Super Mario Run Has Yet to Reach 'Acceptable Profit Point' Nearly One Year After Launch

Nintendo yesterday held its quarterly earnings report [PDF], launching off with details of its "Smart-Device Business" and telling investors how things have been going for Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, while detailing the upcoming launch of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Although Fire Emblem Heroes is on track to meet the company's "overall profit objectives," Super Mario Run appears to be a disappointment in the iOS App Store for Nintendo, which stated it has "not yet reached an acceptable profit point" for the game (via The Verge). The difference between the two apps lies in their payment structure, with Fire Emblem Heroes a free-to-download title with micro-transactions, and Super Mario Run priced at a fixed $9.99. The company noted that Super Mario Run has now hit the 200 million download mark, and Nintendo was even able to launch the app in countries "not previously reached by our dedicated video game platform business." Unfortunately, after about 10 months on mobile devices Super Mario Run still has not made the amount of money that Nintendo predicted for the title, which was its first foray into a mobile app built around one-time payments. Still, the company said that it has "learned a lot in terms of game development and deployment," which it plans to "take advantage of moving forward." Although we have not yet reached an acceptable profit point, we have learned a lot in terms of game development and deployment that we want to take advantage of moving forward. For Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo said that it "listened to the voices of our consumers,"

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Tops Australian iOS App Store Faster Than Super Mario Run

Nintendo's newly-announced iOS game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, has soft launched in the Australian iOS App Store, a launch rollout that Nintendo has begun to favor as a way to test its iOS apps prior to a worldwide debut. According to new data gathered by Sensor Tower, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp climbed to the top of the Australian App Store much faster than either Super Mario Run or Fire Emblem Heroes. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp debuted quite high among all iPhone apps on the Australian App Store, hitting around number 2 within the first hour of its soft launch on October 25. Afterwards, the new game reached the number 1 spot on the Australian App Store within 12 hours of its debut. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is Nintendo's fourth smartphone game made in partnership with developer DeNA, following Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and Fire Emblem Heroes. Chart via Sensor Tower Hourly App Store category rankings from Sensor Tower App Intelligence show Nintendo’s third mobile game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, off to a strong start in its Australian soft launch on iOS. According to the data, the game reached No. 1 among all iPhone apps faster than Nintendo’s previous mobile releases, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, hitting the impressive milestone within 12 hours of its launch on October 25. Comparatively, Super Mario Run debuted just below the number 40 ranking. It then hit number 2 after 12 hours on the App Store in Australia, and finally obtained the number 1 spot 14 hours after its soft launch in the country last December. Fire Emblem Heroes was ranked

Nintendo Announces Animal Crossing Pocket Camp for iOS Devices

Nintendo this evening shared details on its upcoming Animal Crossing game that's coming to iOS devices, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. In Pocket Camp, you manage a campsite that you can decorate with furniture and items to attract the traditional Animal Crossing villagers. When you place an animal's favorite furniture item, that animal will come to visit your campsite. Based on the Animal Crossing Pocket Camp website, the full range of animal types will be available in Pocket Camp. The game is highly focused on crafting, and crafting is used to create the furniture items that will draw villagers to the campsite. Crafting furniture requires materials, which are earned by completing quests for your campsite visitors. Animals will ask you to collect fruit, bugs, fish, and other items, and will reward you with crafting materials when the job's done. As with other Animal Crossing games, you can catch bugs and fish and sell them to get bells, the game's main currency. You live in a camper, which can be customized both inside and out in the city. You can purchase furniture and new exterior paints and other options, and there are also stores for buying new outfits and accessories. Limited time and seasonal items will be available. You can also build amenities like pools for your campsite visitors, and there are nearby recreation spots to explore for exotic bugs and fruit, like a beach and an island. Time passes as it does in real life, so when it's morning, it's morning in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. You can visit your friends' campsites, and sell and

Animal Crossing Smartphone App Will Be the Focus of New Nintendo Direct Coming This Week

Following Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Super Mario Run, Nintendo appears finally ready to reveal details for its fourth iOS gaming app, Animal Crossing. The company has confirmed on its Japanese website [Google Translate] that a new Animal Crossing-focused Nintendo Direct will debut this Wednesday, October 25 at 12 p.m. local time in Japan, meaning the direct will take place on October 24 in the United States at 8 p.m. PT (via GameSpot). The announcement has so far been shared through Nintendo's Japanese and Animal Crossing UK Twitter accounts. Anyone will be able to watch the broadcast worldwide on Nintendo's Japanese YouTube channel right here, and the company's English language YouTube channel should see the new Direct posted around the same time. Image via Nintendo Japan The pre-recorded broadcast will last 15 minutes and will focus on Animal Crossing's iOS application, with no news coming at this time for 3DS or Switch versions of the franchise. There also won't be any details on any other smartphone apps, according to the company's website. Animal Crossing for iOS was first announced in April 2016, alongside Fire Emblem's iOS game, as the two newest titles in Nintendo's original goal to release five smartphone apps before March 2017. When Animal Crossing didn't show up for its original fall 2016 launch window, Nintendo delayed the game in January 2017 until its next fiscal year, running from April 2017 to March 2018. So, with the upcoming Nintendo Direct, it appears that the company is ready to debut Animal Crossing as its next iOS game, potentially

You Can Now Use the Nintendo Switch Voice Chat App While in Other Apps or When iPhone is Locked

Ahead of the Nintendo Direct coming this afternoon, Nintendo recently updated its Switch Online voice chat iOS app with a few useful tweaks to the way the software handles chatting online with friends. Prior to the update, you had to keep the app open at all times to hear and be heard by your friends while playing games like Splatoon 2. Now, Nintendo explains in the app's update notes that you can both browse to other iPhone apps and lock the device, and voice chat will continue to function in the background through the Nintendo Switch Online app. The expanded functionality of voice chat should greatly enhance the usefulness of Nintendo's app and online services, which will turn into a monthly paid subscription sometime in 2018. Pricing and tiers include $3.99/month, $7.99/3 months, and $19.99/year. The app first launched on July 18, a few days ahead of Splatoon 2's debut, allowing gamers to visit SplatNet 2 on their iOS device to look at previous match statistics, check out current stages in rotation, and invite friends to Private Battles on the Switch console. Nintendo's upcoming 45-minute Direct will begin this afternoon at 3 p.m PT and plans to focus on games coming to Switch and 3DS

'Nintendo Switch Online' iOS App Now Available

As Nintendo prepares to launch Splatoon 2 on July 21, it has made the Nintendo Switch Online app available in the iOS App Store. Nintendo Switch Online, first introduced earlier this month, is designed to enhance the online experience when using compatible games on the Nintendo Switch console. At the current time, Splatoon 2 is the only game that's compatible with Nintendo Switch Online, and it will allow players to voice chat with friends, invite people to online matches, create teams, and access SplatNet 2. SplatNet 2, designed specifically for Splatoon 2, offers up online play statistics like match results, stages, and rankings. It also lets users invite friends with Splatoon 2 to Private Battles, League Battles, and Splatfest battles across social media. While Nintendo Switch Online is limited to Splatoon 2 right now, future games will have built in support, with Nintendo Switch Online serving as the hub for most interactive features like voice chat. When using voice chat, Nintendo says it works in different ways based on the game that's being played. Users can either chat with everyone in the room or split voice chat into teams. The app's functionality and the Splatoon 2 online play will be available for free until the full Nintendo Switch Online service launches in 2018. Following the launch of Nintendo Switch Online, most games with online gameplay will require an ongoing subscription. Nintendo Switch Online will cost $19.99 per year or $3.99 per month with a monthly subscription. A persistent internet connection is required to use the app, as is a

Nintendo to Debut 'Nintendo Switch Online' iOS App Alongside Splatoon 2 on July 21

During a Nintendo Direct event this morning, Nintendo announced plans to release a new "Nintendo Switch Online" app on July 21, the release date for Splatoon 2. According to Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch Online app, available for iOS and Android, is designed to "enhance your online experience for compatible games on the Nintendo Switch console." At launch, the only game compatible with the Nintendo Switch Online app will be Splatoon 2. The app will let users voice chat with friends, invite people to online matches, create teams, and access SplatNet 2. SplatNet2 offers up online play statistics and info on upcoming game features. The debut of the app means Splatoon 2 and other games are unlikely to have built-in voice chat capabilities, instead requiring the separate app, but Nintendo has been promoting an upcoming headset accessory from Hori that will combine audio from the iPhone and the Nintendo Switch for a more seamless play experience. Nintendo Switch Online for iOS will let you invite friends with Splatoon 2 to Private Battles, League Battles, and Splatfest Battles across social media and "other services," and it will support push notifications for instant alerts when an invite is received. Though the app will launch with limited functionality, it will expand to encompass other games as Nintendo builds out its Nintendo Switch Online service. The app's functionality and the Splatoon 2 online play will be available for free until the full Nintendo Switch Online service launches in 2018. Following the launch of Nintendo Switch Online, most games with

Apple's Domination of Component Supply Chain Said to Be Constraining Nintendo Switch Production

A new article by The Wall Street Journal today has taken a look into the increased pressure put on suppliers of NAND flash memory units, as well as other smartphone components, and how Apple might be indirectly affecting the supply of the Nintendo Switch. According to people in the industry, smartphone makers -- namely Apple -- and their increasing ramp-up on component manufacturing for high-end devices have led to dwindling supplies of Nintendo Switch. Specifically, Nintendo is lacking components related to NAND flash-memory chips, liquid-crystal displays, and the motors used in the Switch's HD Rumble feature. NAND memory chip supplies are said to be placed mainly upon the shoulders of Toshiba's struggling NAND chip unit, which is still up for sale despite legal troubles that have plagued the company over the past few weeks. In April, Apple was rumored to be looking into spending several billion for a "substantial stake" in Toshiba's NAND chip unit. Apple's manufacturing ramp-up on the upcoming "iPhone 8" is said to be behind some of the supply chain constraints faced by Nintendo, as well as ongoing demand for the iPhone 7. Currently, Apple manufactures iPhone 7 with an LCD display and various internal sizes of NAND memory. The Nintendo Switch has a multi-touch LCD display and 32GB of internal memory. People in the industry say the rapid expansion of web-based services for corporations has driven demand for computer servers that use flash memory. Continued demand for Apple’s iPhone 7 and a 10th anniversary model of the iPhone expected later this year are also

Nintendo Planning to Launch Smartphone Version of 'The Legend of Zelda'

Following the release of mobile games Miitomo, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and the upcoming Animal Crossing iPhone app, Nintendo's next big franchise coming to smartphones will be The Legend of Zelda, according to sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal. The sources said that Animal Crossing will hit mobile devices sometime "in the latter half of 2017," and a smartphone version of The Legend of Zelda would launch afterwards. That would make The Legend of Zelda the fifth game Nintendo develops for iOS and Android devices in partnership with developer DeNA. Originally, all five games were supposed to launch before March 2017, but only Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and Fire Emblem Heroes made that deadline. Around the release of Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo said that it plans to launch two to three smartphone games every year from now on. It isn't yet clear if The Legend of Zelda will see a 2017 or 2018 launch, or how much Nintendo will charge players for the game. Recently, a Nintendo senior official described Fire Emblem Heroes' freemium model an "outlier," saying that the company prefers the pay-once price tag of Super Mario Run, suggesting The Legend of Zelda might follow in the latter game's footsteps. Nintendo Co. plans to bring its videogame franchise “The Legend of Zelda” to smartphones, people familiar with the matter said, the latest step by the Kyoto company to expand its mobile-games lineup. The people familiar with the matter said the “Animal Crossing” smartphone app is likely to be released in the latter half of 2017, and “The

Nintendo Prefers Super Mario Run Pay-Once Model, Calls Freemium Structure of Fire Emblem Heroes an 'Outlier'

As Nintendo keeps launching new properties onto smartphones, the company has taken different strategies in regards to each app's payment model, including free-to-play (Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes) and pay-once-and-play (Super Mario Run). According to a senior official at the company, Nintendo actually "prefers" the Super Mario Run model over Fire Emblem Heroes, despite the more lucrative future that Fire Emblem Heroes' in-app purchases have in store for Nintendo (via Nikkei). According to Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, Super Mario Run's revenue "did not meet" the company's expectations. Ahead of the game's release, it was reported that Nintendo was eyeing a pay-once model so that parents could download Super Mario Run for their kids without the added anxiety of in-app purchases appearing later in their iTunes purchase history. It appears that the gaming company still intends for most of its future apps to follow in Super Mario Run's footsteps and not those of Fire Emblem Heroes, with a senior company official referring to Heroes as "an outlier" in the grand scheme of Nintendo's mobile strategy. Yet [Super Mario Run] was less of a moneymaker for Nintendo than might have been expected, due to the pay-once-and-play model. Revenue from the game "did not meet our expectations," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said. Even so, Nintendo has no intention of switching focus to freemium games. "'Heroes' is an outlier," a senior company official said. "We honestly prefer the 'Super Mario Run' model." The company is believed to care more about expanding the

Nintendo's 'Super Mario Run' for iOS Updated With New Characters, Easy Mode and More Free Content

Nintendo today released version 2.0 of Super Mario Run, its popular Mario-themed platform game for iOS devices. Today's update adds a host of new features, including new playable characters, an easy mode, additional free content, and more. Starting today, players can get different colored Yoshis in Super Mario Run. Using a Yoshi of a particular color to play Toad Rally will result in more Toads of that color when a rally is won. For customers who have not purchased the full Super Mario Run game, Nintendo is adding more free content, in the form of Bowser's Challenges. Completing one of Bowser's challenges will unlock the previous locked 1-4 course. Clearing 1-4 will then unlock new courses to play in Toad Rally, new Toad colors, and new Shop buildings. For tough challenges and for players who aren't as skilled, an Easy Mode has been added to the game that can be selected when using World Tour mode. This will make the basic Mario levels easier to complete. Nintendo has also made adjustments to the tutorial to make it easier to understand special actions, pink coins, and more, and there have also been tweaks to the number of Rally Tickets received from the ? Block and it's now easier to get some of the buildings in the shop. For Toad Rally, the appearance rates of various Toads have been adjusted, making it easier to get Toads to purchase buildings. In the future, Nintendo also plans to add additional buildings that will be unlocked by an event. Super Mario Run can be downloaded from the App Store for free, but it will cost $9.99 to unlock the full

Nintendo Switch Vulnerable to Hacking Through Outdated Version of Apple's WebKit Browser Engine

iOS hacker qwertyoruiop has discovered that an old iOS 9.3 WebKit vulnerability lies hidden within Nintendo's latest home console/portable hybrid, the Nintendo Switch (via SlashGear). The exploit lies in the Switch's limited web browser functionality, which allows users to sync up with Twitter and Facebook as well as connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots, and is all run by Apple's open source browser engine WebKit. The Switch's version of WebKit is older than the one currently running on up-to-date iOS and macOS devices, however, allowing Nintendo's device to become vulnerable to a collection of critical exploits that plagued iOS 9.3 last summer. One, named "Pegasus," was a highly sophisticated exploit that installed itself within an iOS device through a link sent via a text message. Apple eventually addressed and fixed these issues with iOS 9.3.5. that's just how it goes pic.twitter.com/ztkFrbjz5u— qwertyoruiop (@qwertyoruiopz) March 11, 2017 For unknown reasons, Nintendo opted to include a version of WebKit that doesn't have these fixes, allowing qwertyoruiop to use an existing iOS WebKit jailbreak, remove any iOS-specific code, and tweak it so it runs on the Switch. The existence of a known exploit running on Switch points towards a rushed release, which was already believed to be the case since the company's fiscal year ends March 31, 2017 and the Switch launched March 3. Developer LiveOverflow yesterday published a proof of concept video on the Switch WebKit exploit, further detailing how the bug originating on Apple's devices can be used to hack a Nintendo

Nintendo Switch Acts as External Battery Pack for USB-C MacBook Pro, Parental Control App Available

The Nintendo Switch launches worldwide tomorrow, March 3, and as journalists and reviewers have had their hands on the console for the past week, news of its hardware and software features have been shared online. This week, Quartz technology reporter Mike Murphy discovered that when plugging the Nintendo Switch into a MacBook Pro through a dual USB-C cable, the Switch inexplicably acts as an external battery pack for the Apple laptop, providing charge to the MacBook instead of being charged itself. In the image, it appears that a third party USB-C cable is being used to connect the two devices (in the box, Switch only comes with a USB-C to AC adapter cable). Lol if you plug a Nintendo Switch into a new MacBook Pro, the Switch charges the laptop, not the other way around pic.twitter.com/YJhMct6fKO— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) March 1, 2017 Murphy also discovered a slight workaround: if users power down the Switch before connecting it to the MacBook, then the MacBook will charge the Switch. The Switch will also charge off of Apple's USB-C wall adapter cable bundled in recent MacBook boxes, and sold separately online. Nintendo confirmed on its website that the Switch has a non-removable 4310mAh, 3.7V Lithium-ion battery, and early FCC filings -- as well as recent pictures -- of the included AC adapter confirmed that the console draws power up to 15.0V/2.6A, equating to 39W. The non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro has a 54.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery and can draw up to 61W from a power adapter. Since much of Nintendo Switch's battery-related questions are still up in

Nintendo's 'Fire Emblem Heroes' Game Earned an Estimated $2.9 Million During First Day

Nintendo's newly released game Fire Emblem Heroes earned an estimated $2.9 million in worldwide gross revenue during its first 24 hours of availability, according to data shared by app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Since being released yesterday morning for iOS and Android devices, Fire Emblem Heroes has been downloaded more than two million times from the iOS App Store and the Google Play store. Download numbers may have been affected by a late release in the United States - the game didn't become available on iOS devices until the afternoon. At $2.9 million in gross revenue, Fire Emblem Heroes is not quite the hit that Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run were. Pokémon Go earned an estimated $10.2 million during its first 24 hours of availability, while Super Mario Run brought in $8.4 million. It was also not downloaded quite as many times, likely due to the fact that the Fire Emblem series isn't as well known as the Mario or Pokémon franchises nor was it as heavily promoted. Pokémon GO was downloaded an estimated 4.2 million times on day one, while Super Mario Run, was downloaded an estimated 6 million times. Unsurprisingly, Fire Emblem Heroes has proven to be most popular in Japan, with the United States coming in second. Bringing classic titles to iOS devices has thus far proven to be a successful venture for Nintendo. Super Mario Run set an App Store record with 40 million downloads in just four days. Since its December release, Super Mario Run has brought in more than $53 million in revenue with more than 78 million downloads. Nintendo plans to

'Fire Emblem Heroes' Launches on iOS App Store [Update: Available in U.S.]

Nintendo's newest mobile smartphone game, Fire Emblem Heroes, is officially out on the iOS App Store in the U.S. [Direct Link], as well as in Japan, Australia, Europe, and over 30 other countries. Announced last spring, Fire Emblem on smartphones adopts the tactical role-playing gameplay of the popular franchise, with a few mobile-optimized tweaks. These changes mainly center around battle maps that have been designed to specifically fit smartphone screens. To attack, players tap and drag their allies over the enemy forces, while paying attention to a rock-paper-scissors weapon types system that greatly affects attack power in the heat of battle. The main game lies in the "Story Maps," where players will fight through enemy defenses to complete objectives, eventually earning Orbs that summon classic Fire Emblem characters to fight for them in battle. Orbs will be one of the monetization points of Fire Emblem Heroes, as players can also choose to skip earning them through Story Maps and pay for the booster item in the game's shop. Nintendo hasn't yet detailed what else will be available as an in-app purchase in the game, but it did confirm Fire Emblem Heroes will be free-to-download with IAPs as its main revenue model. Also included in the game will be an Arena mode where players can fight against rivals around the world to earn high scores, increase rankings, and get exclusive rewards to increase the abilities of each hero. Additionally, Training Tower will let players hone their Fire Emblem skills with randomly generated maps, and Hero Battles will pit players

Super Mario Run Updated With 'Easy Mode', Has Made $53M Over 78M Downloads So Far

Nintendo today rolled out an update to Super Mario Run that includes a collection of feature additions and bug fixes, along with a new "Easy Mode." The relaxed mode turns off time limits for each course and provides players with unlimited bubbles, so they can take as long as they want to complete a course and die as many times as needed to get past tricky sections. The update comes the same day as Nintendo's third-quarter earnings call, where the company announced that Super Mario Run has been downloaded 78 million times globally since its release in December (via The Wall Street Journal). Although unspecified, Nintendo said that "more than 5 percent" of those users have gone on to pay the full $10 price tag required to unlock all of the content in the game, resulting in more than $53 million in revenue so far. “For a game that charges this much, the performance is pretty amazing,” said Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based mobile game consultant. He said even games that charge only a dollar or two for in-game items usually convert fewer than 5% of downloaders into paying customers. Today's update to Super Mario Run also includes compatibility with Korean, new events, an adjustment to how many toads are lost and gained in Toad Rally, and more. A few days after the game launched last month, Nintendo began surveying some customers and asking their opinions on how much the game should cost, what modes they liked, and if they would play a sequel, suggesting that the company is willing to take constructive criticism regarding the largely negative feedback to the game's pay