We've already heard how Pokémon GO captured close to $800 million in global revenue last year and now the marketing analysis firm Sensor Tower reports Nintendo's mobile games made a total of $348 million in 2018.
According to the firm, $117 million was made in the fourth quarter alone - resulting in a 47 percent increase compared to the same period in 2017. This surge is thanks to the release of Dragalia Lost in September, which made around $58.4 million, even though it had a limited launch in five territories.
Fire Emblem Heroes was still Nintendo's top performing mobile game in 2018, accounting for 66 percent of the Japanese company's mobile revenue. The game was originally released in February 2017 and has continually proven to be the biggest moneymaker out of all of Nintendo's smartphone offerings.
Other Nintendo mobile releases include Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Super Mario Run. Pocket Camp made an estimated total of $48.6 million in 2018 - with its revenue down by 44 percent exactly a year after its November release in 2017. Super Mario's paid version of Run made around $10 million last year and originally arrived in September 2016.
In 2019, Nintendo is expected to release the Mario Kart Tour "service" on mobile before the end of March.
Anything that keeps Fire Emblem in hearts and minds. Very good, Nintendo.
Great for Nintendo; I hope they are able to still maintain the home system focus too, as I’ve not really got into their mobile phone offerings — I have a Switch and 3DS, so playing a game on my mobile feels like a step backwards. Still, it’s so nice to see Nintendo doing well again
Just before people jump the gun:
348$ millions is no number to scoff at but recalled that at Fevruary 2018 nintendo's revenues were listed at 9.2 billions ...the majority of which coming from hardware and physical full game releases sales.
348 millions might be a big number but it's not even half a single billion of that 9 billions figure.
Basically: nintendo has all the reason to indeed increase mobile games productions but don't see them dropping traditional console gaming anytime soon especially with successes as recent as Smash Bros Ultimate to show there's still room for traditional stuff.
Guess there’s nothing else for it but to abandon consoles and exclusive software. Dragalia Lost for everyone. Urk!
This is all good, as long as Nintendo keeps using mobile only as a marketing tool and secondary revenue stream for its primary concern. I love a good mobile game. But you wouldn’t get a BotW or a Super Mario Odyssey working decently on a mobile.
(That said, Mario + Rabbids would probably be OK with pure touch controls...)
@Krull In general a lot of turn based jrpgs are pretty surprising good fits on mobile so I wouldn't be surprised by Mario+rabbids being a good fit.
I only tried it the demo so far but I was pleasantly surprised by how the controls in Monster Hunter Stories handle on mobile.
Also on February 2018 was listed as having made 9.2Billions in revenues the majority of which came from hardware.
Considering that 348millions isn't even half of a single billion I wouldn't see get out of the console business when they can instead basically have both in cross-visibility synergy.
I'll always give this a look at Mario Kart Tour if it's free, and then I don't mind spending money, if it supports the development... but I'm still against paying for consumable items. That said, Im hoping this may work as either a standalone download or in conjunction with an upcoming Mario Kart Switch game.
Saying that Mario Kart has always jumped from console to handheld, so it's like the next MK installment will be handheld too.
I still can't wait for mario kart tour
These numbers are mindblowing. Hopefully this will translate to even more amazing games on switch and/or 3ds
@ach it will result in more mobile games.
$300m revenue is peanuts. It's still $300m more than 0, but we have no idea of the development or outsourcing costs .. and the profit. If it was $300m in profit, that's another thing.
1m of switch hardware sold brings in around $300m in revenue ... Roughly.
I would still be playing this game, but Dragon ball Legends has taken over as my main time sink when I am on a phone....
Good news for Fire Emblem Heroes though. I wonder how that amount compares to traditional Fire Emblem games.
That's nothing... developer of Clash of Clans made $2 billion each year.
@Crono1973 probably, but one can hope.
mobile is just a complement to nintendo. the focus need be domestic system
for bad or for worst free to play is the way to go.... I expect to see a mainline Pokemon game where hospitals charge money to heal your injured pokemon.
Every potion and antidote is expensive as hell and difficulty is higher Oh also overpowered abilities like recovery will be erased.
If there is any doubt, there is another article on Nintendo Life with the title: Future Business Shift Could See Nintendo Move Away From Home Console Development And increase the amount of games on smartphones.
Why is Super Mario Run still a thing? Leave Mario out of this mobile nonsense, please. Glad to see Fire Emblem is doing well. I tried to like Pocket Camp but it was not possible. I hear Dragalia is not bad at all.
Money money money money money!
@ach AHAHAHAAA! You actually think the 3DS is going to get anything other than remakes/ports/localizations now? Yeah, not happening!
Looks good but it looks like there’s a lot of room for improvement.
The lure of money in mobile is just too tempting to ignore. To make $50 million on consoles mean you have to sell one million $50 dollar game, and even then you don't take home 50 million, since you have to split with retailers. No wonder the CEO is thinking about mobile gaming more.
@Nanaki Agreed, even though I only enjoyed the concluded Miitomo from their mobile wagon.
Hopefully all this banked revenue doesn't glue them directly onto the smartphone business because if they do abandon traditional video game consoles, I see a dark future ahead for them...and I don't want that to happen
One biggest fear from Mobile games = Sudden Discontinued.
Just look what happened to MiiTomo. 😰
With FE mobile making so much money, Three Houses could be the Let's Go of Fire Emblem games. I'm not overly familiar with the series but I remember the last entry had a dual release. Am I right in saying one of those was a more casual entry with the other being for the veterans?
That was the idea. Birthright was somewhat easier, while Conquest had some legitimately challenging maps, that honestly felt old school to me in terms of difficulty. Like, up there with the final maps of Fire Emblem 7. There was one where I just could not beat it without losing a character, but that’s where casual mode shines. You get your characters back after each map so they don’t permanently die. Of course, this does mean it’s nearly impossible to lose- most of your squad could get wiped out in a map and you would just get them all back afterward, but even so it still feels engaging because you naturally try to strategize and do your best, and give in depth thought to each move... still, there’s something to be said for playing on permadeath where your choices have REAL weight to them. It makes you play different, and less willing to take risks.
But ya, I think it was unnecessary to split because most new players are going to go for casual mode anyways, in which case Conquest no longer poses any real threat. Oh, they’ll lose a character or two, but since they get them back afterward they’d fare just fine with that version.
I’m glad to see Three Houses going back to its roots in terms of style and art direction and religious-theme story, while still retaining the additions and changes that made Awakening and Fates so great, and adding some legitimately exciting changes of its own in the process (squads and formations of squads, aggro detection as an innate skill for certain characters, completely overhauled menu system and ground level map view that still highlights the grid, etc)
I LOVE Fire Emblem soooo much. I highly, highly recommend you jump in with Three Houses. I am convinced it’s going to be one of the greatest video games on the Nintendo Switch this generation.
To expand upon this point, Nintendo is projected to earn well over $10 Billion in their current fiscal year, which means their mobile business won't even account for 3.5% of their total revenue.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate earned more revenue in 4 days than all of Nintendo's mobile titles earned during the entirety of 2018.
Looking forward to whatever Mario Kart Tour is, but I'll be even more interested if they tie it in with the Switch somehow...the fact that Nintendo says it's a "service" makes me think it's some kind of add-on for MK8 or to be used in conjunction with a spin-off Mario Kart game to be released on the Switch? 🤔
@Ludovsky Yeah, you’re definitely looking at this wrong
How much of Nintendo’s resources does it take to release, say, a new Fire Emblem game for 3DS? Probably a solid team of 50, a few years, and $10-20 million in cash for a solid $40 experience. They’d need to sell probably 1 million units to offset the risk with a decent profit and funds for the next one. The game might sell that much, but could also bomb and be a huge money pit
Now with that new perspective, look at what they did with a mobile game
For probably a fraction of the cost and labor, they were able to release a more subpar, casual experience, and reel in 5x MORE cash than a traditional Fire Emblem game. No packaging costs, no memory card costs, no localization tariffs, no shipping costs.
I now perfectly see what Nintendo’s President was talking about. The console race carries far too much risk for Nintendo. Microsoft has software and $1 Trillion dollars of financial might to back Xbox. Sony has movie studios, and many different branches of hardware to support them, plus extremely lucrative licensing deals that make them king in Europe and the Americas. Now going into the next decade, Facebook, Google, and Apple are entering the arena. Companies 50 TIMES more valuable.Nintendo has... consoles. And even the biggest fan can admit Nintendo hardware has been behind for almost 20 years. Nintendo stock dropped 80% between the highs of the Wii and the lows of the Wii U. Billions. Gone.
I can definitely see Nintendo going mobile. Even if it means releasing a line of phones and managing their own App Store. They’ve allowed the future to become too uncertain, and other companies have the power to push them out
@westman98 Thank God.
I can't believe people spend money on theae moble games. They're so shallow and boring. I don't get it.
I openly resent the mobile game industry. Its success directly endangers real gaming. Companies, even Nintendo, are amoral machines designed to make a profit. A company wont turn away from a more lucrative venture on the grounds of remaining loyal to longtime fans. Even if developers and workers were to disagree, if the corporate side of things looks at it, and says in 2022 or something "mobile gaming is far more profitable, we're going to focus on that from now on" the devs and workers wont have much choice.
I think 2022 is way too soon for that to happen, but with recent trends and comments from executives, it seems likely that it could happen someday.
But let me be clear A MOBILE GAME WILL NEVER BE AS GOOD AS A CONSOLE OR PC GAME The absolute best mobile games only outclass console and PC games that can be described as "so-so" or "decent".
Mobile games make up for quality with sheer quantity. If a mobile game is downloaded 800 million times and only 1% of those downloads result in a single 1 dollar transaction, that's still 8 million dollars...
This only applies to Fire Emblem, which was never a big tentpole franchise for Nintendo to begin with. Most of that revenue comes from exploiting the gatcha system that is huge in Japan, which explains why 2/3rds of FE Heroes spending comes from Japan.
> Mario Run earns ~$70 million in its first 2 years vs Mario Odyssey earns ~$130 million in its first 2 days & ~$800 million in its 1st year
> AC Pocket Camp earns ~$135 million in its 1st year vs AC New Leaf earns ~$300 million in its 1st year in Japan/first 6 months in the west
> Pokemon Go, one of the biggest mobile games in history, earns ~$815 million in its first 6 months vs Smash Bros Ultimate earns $300+ million in its first 3 days & $650-$700 million in its 1st month
Mobile gaming can be very lucrative, but let's not pretend like its a suitable replacement for Nintendo's dedicated gaming business.
@JaxonH Cheers pal. Yeah I'm definitely going to give this one a go. The only one I've played was Sacred Stones on Wii U VC and although I never finished it, I enjoyed what I played. I'll definitely be going for the one that offers permadeath, like you say it adds to the tension. I bought Into the Breach a few days ago and I'm really enjoying it, although I'm not that good at it. I was a big fan of Advance Wars, which is to date the only TBS game I've completed.
Ofc, I can't be a part of this coz Nintendo advocates for region locks for mobile games in 2019. Funny how each time they go forward (no region lock for Switch) they take a lot of steps backwards (mobile game region locks, Switch Online)
Cue apologists thinking getting the APK suffices and means Nintendo is still dedicated to bring the mobile experience to everyone.
I honestly have not touched a single one of these games. I just do not care for games on my phone.
I think it is great that Nintendo makes good money from these games, I just have no interest.
I haven’t played much of Sacred Stones, but I’m at the end of FE7, I Beat Awakening, I Beat Fates Birthright and am at the end of Conquest, Beat Shadows of Valentia, and am 1/4 of the way through Path of Radiance on GameCube, and have save files going in FE4: Genealogy of the Holy War on SNES (fan translation), FE6: Binding Blade on GBA (fan translation), Radiant Dawn on Wii, Shadow Dragon on DS and FE12: Heroes of Light and Shadow on DS (fan translation). Have also played the beginning of FE1 and FE2 on NES, and FE5: Thracia 776 on SNES (all fan translations).
My favorite, aside from Awakening, is Path of Radiance on GameCube, and Radiant Dawn on Wii. If you have a Wii with BC, or a modded Wii U that can play GC, or Dolphin on a PC, make it a point to obtain those two games. Masterpieces, both of them. And it’s one storyline. Each FE game is split by an intermission and broken into 2 pieces of storyline. The second half of Radiant Dawn on Wii continues with Ike from Path of Radiance on GC and interweaves his story into that of the characters from the first half of Radiant Dawn. Play Path of Radiance first so you know what’s going on.
This one though... it looks like my dream Fire Emblem.
Btw, my brother loves Into the Breach. He was telling me about that game before it ever came to Switch. I just haven’t had a chance to play it yet. I think everything is randomized though which does kind of put me off.
It's important to note that this is the revenue before being shared with the platform holders who get a decent percentage of these earnings. It's also important to note when it comes to the EShop and first party games (that makes about 25% of purchases of both first and third party games), Nintendo gets to keep all that sweet revenue that comes from their first party games. Retail doesn't make as much money as Nintendo would probably like, but they still make a decent profit off physical.
@Ludovsky While $300+M may not seem to be significant out of the $9B revenue, you need to look at its initial capital to get a better picture.
Just think about investing $1 and get $3 back against investing $10 and get $15 back, that's a 300% revenue vs. 150% though $5 is a lot more than $2.
@Trajan Gaming is a form of entertainment, they are all shallow by definition.
It's only a matter of personal preference.
I'm sad to see Super Mario Run at the bottom of the list. The only decent game on the list, that is not based on micro transactions.
Fire Emblem Heroes is the same trash as so many other mobile games, that is based on micro transactions.
It's gameplay is made to get as much money out of each consumer. It's not designed to only give the consumer a great gameplay experience, so I can't support it. And I do not think that others should support it either.
Nintendo is definitely interested in exploring this kind of business model in the future. That was clear after what their president said lately. So people should stop supporting all of these kind of micro transaction games, if they do not want Nintendo to take that road.
Well lets be honest. Fire Emblem is an easier game to play on mobile than those other titles. Without a joystick it doesn't feel good playing those. Fire Emblem is a slower game without button smashing. People know what to get
stupid gacha clowns , lmfao. Maybe one day their efforts will pay off and they finally get some real content in feh
agreed, it endangers real gaming. Companies realize they can make easier profit with a simple and repetitive game that is f2p on the outside and p2w on the inside. You can literally spend hundreds of not thousands of dollars and still not get the pixel character of your choice. and people will till praise cygames for its generosity. Furthermore it definitely facilitates gambling. These games are labelled as 13+. Of course, parents are responsible for their kids, but lets be real here. Gacha games are predatory and it saddens me that Nintendo has become part of it.
@puddinggirl even then nintendo is projected to make 10 billions this year.
That means that even with the low investment argument for mobile gaming, it usually represents only 3.5 percents of their total revenues.
Not 10 percents, not five percents.
That's a huge disparity and I doubt that even with lower investment costs the 3.5 percents of mobile gaming can compare to what they got from everything else.
@SuperEndriu look in my eyes this is just talk to stop mobile-crazy investors from panicking.
As someone pointed out they made about 10 billions this year and comparing Nintendo to Apple is literally comparing Apple to oranges then one recall Apple also make tablets and phones that have nothing to do with gaming in the first image thus still a lot of revenues beyond the Apple store(which doesn't just sell games either).
So yeah their mobile gaming broke a record?
It's still not even 3.5 percent of their total revenues. Not 10 percents, not 5. Just 3.5.
Basically yes it's "the -start- of an interesting part of their portfolio" but in no ways is it "it's the future and we'll trash everything else in favor of it now kthanksbye".
And I don't buy into the "less investment for mobile games". They might cosy less in assets and all but you still need to note a crew for them.
Meanwhile , while traditional games costs more to make from the getgo not all games are humongous 500millions investments like Destiny... especially on hardware like the Switch that don't try to needlessly push graphics horsepower like previous generations.
So even with lower investment for mobile games, I don't see them dropping what still accounted for 96.5% of their total revenues just because one part of their portfolios went from 1-2% to 3.5% and hasn't petered out yet... which it may well might especially with the core of mobile sales being almost exclusive to Japan while Nintendo's own ambitions are worldwide.
And that's the thing, ...the stuff that sells across the world... not just Japan or China, but Europe and the Americas.
Well, the stuff that continues sell in Europe and America is traditional gaming. To move mobile only would indeed means getting to be relevant in the west.
@SuperGhirahim64 While the title is clickbait, what the president was saying makes a lot of sense. If the market moves away from console development to say, mobile gaming, and they need to do it to survive, they will move along with the market.
@puddinggirl Compare BOTW, Odyssey, Splatoon 2, XC2, etc to whats available on your phone. They dont compare. Even F2P games are like better moble games.
So, ALMOST as much revenue from all their mobiled games together, as from Mario Odyssey alone.
Such a money printer. Nintendo's going all mobile now, lads.
Precisely. You wouldn’t want to reset if it didn’t have real weight. And because you know you’re probably going to want to reset if you mess up, you play the game a lot differently.
We all keep the reset button close at hand cause we actually care about the choices we make. Doesn’t mean we reset it every time though. I just lost my Pegasus Knight in one of the last and final chapters of FE7, and she had the only Delphi Shield in the entire game... but I didn’t reset. It all depends on how far you are into the game and what the cost of trying again would be.
@Ludovsky Good information! I didn't know that!
Nintendo's mobile games were originally intended to be a gateway for their consoles but they could end up being their main business...
I hope people realize that while mobile game development is considerably cheaper than console game development, Nintendo has to pay Apple/Google 30% of their revenue as a licensing fee. So Nintendo only earns $244 million from that $348 million in revenue.
@datamonkey if you read the full interview closely being a gateway to their main IP is indeed still the plan.
Just look away Pokemon Go Pikachu/Evee is just that.
Pokemon GO brought things of people playing Pokemon on pondering.
GO Evee/Pikachu now already brought a ton of these people back into consoles, ready for the next big Pokemon game.
Like 348mil may be a record for the mobile division but that's with all their titles taken together.
Meanwhile Mario Odyssey made such revenues by it's entire lone self in comparison and is such a solid title it continues to sell copies even today without even the need for DLCs.
And development costs wise we should recall that deal; a single game made just as much revenue than an entire division which must also still deal with development, administrative costs or even just stuff like Apple/etc likely taking just a much of a cut out of all these microtransactions supposed to make so much money in the mobile industry.
So I don't see Nintendo dropping the traditional market anytime soon in favor of a mobile market that's still someone else's market when said mobile market emails much more useful to get their IP(and traditional market) seen by more eyes who may have skipped it otherwise(as seen by now players jumping from GO to Go Evee/Pikachu which I witnessed from people who didn't play pokemon until the GO app who're now moving to the Switch game that more become a perfect stepping stone for more traditional pokemon experiences next).
@Ryu_Niiyama The message is a little deeper than just liking Fire Emblem. I think people like the marriage option and an epic story that gives importance to characters. This means that the audience is mature and they want a life sim game that also includes fantasy.
Shrugs. I don’t care why people play it. I care that the Fire Emblem brand gets more exposure which means more mainline games. Win for everyone.
"Anything that keeps Fire Emblem in hearts and minds."
"Anything that keeps Fire Emblem in hearts and minds."
Pretty much this.
Barring terrible review scores, I expect Fire Emblem 3 Houses to become the fastest-selling and best-selling entry in the series. The success of Awakening/Fates, Heroes, and the Switch itself should bring the upcoming entry to new heights.
Nintendo cant get rid of consoles and triple AAA games if they want to keep the quality of their brand. Specially now that they plan to diversify into theme parks and movies.
@Heavyarms55 I totally agree all the way around, though with one slight exception. The obsession with mobile games seems to be Asia-centric and hinges heavily on China. Truthfully, the same goes for PC. The Western market, while still profitable for mobile, has a far higher concentration of profitability in dedicated games than seems to exist in Asia. Thus there is a split were Japanese companies keep talking mobile mobile mobile, while Western companies, EA, 2K, Ubisoft, XBox/MS seem to push their token service into mobile, chasing the instant cash grab, but seem to be aligning their long term futures entirely around subscription gaming services, streaming, etc. They seem to be planning a future still focused on dedicated gaming, albeit with more continuous revenue stream generating business models, while Asia is still locked on mobile, mobile, mobile. Blizz/Acti is the lone standout not looking into service platforms (visibly) and seemingly jumping headlong into mobile with Diablo......but.....even with that, notice the focus on on the China market, to the point that it's actually a Chinese made game.
The China bubble will burst. It has to burst. It's built on a fraud all the way around. Japan then remains the outlier where the domestic market is simply phone obsessed (For now. I can't imagine that lasting forever...it's the new shiny there like it was 15 years ago here...the bubble burst here...it'll burst there. It may not mark a return to consoles, but phones won't look as inviting either. Though at that point it's probably fair to say there simple won't be a Japan gaming market at all.)
@NEStalgia I can't speak from experience with China but I can with Japan (since I live here) and the prevelence of phone gaming does largely owe to the mass transit commuter nature of life here. Generally speaking on nearly every train, almost everyone has a phone in their hand. Not because people in Japan are anti-social, like some phone haters seem to believe, but because if everyone on the train were talking it would quickly become unpleasant for everyone. It is considered more polite to play with your phone than to hold an engaging conversation on a train. Literally millions of people travel by train every day in Japan and that aspect alone props up the market. There are people who play games on trains too of course (and use tablets or laptops or read books) but those are all additional objects to bring on a daily commute, which can become a hassle.
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