Nintendo’s lifetime mobile games revenue has topped $1 billion. That’s according to a new report out today from Sensor Tower.
Initially slow to release its giant catalog of games onto mobile devices out of a fear that it might cannibalize 3DS sales, Nintendo has embraced the shift in recent years. Early examples included games Pokémon Shuffle. However, it wasn’t until former president Satoru Iwata entered into a development agreement with DeNA that the company took the potential for their games on smartphones seriously.
In 2016, Nintendo released the social networking app Miitomo, which achieved downloads of over 10 million within its first month. Later that year, Super Mario Run was introduced on iOS devices. An Android release followed a few months later.
Since then, we have seen the release of Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in 2017, and Dragalia Lost in 2018. Dr. Mario World and Mario Kart Tour came out in 2019.
Nintendo’s mobile gravy train
Combined, those mobile games have generated over $1 billion in player spending on the App Store and Google Play. They have been downloaded over 450 million times worldwide. Three games have generated over $100 million in revenue to date with Mario Kart Tour approaching that mark.
“The majority—$656 million, or 61 percent—of Nintendo’s mobile revenue has come from strategy RPG Fire Emblem Heroes,” the report found. “The next two highest-grossing Nintendo titles were Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which has accounted for 12 percent of all user spending among the company’s mobile games, followed by Dragalia Lost at 11 percent.”
“Nintendo is unsurprisingly most successful in its home market of Japan, where the $581 million it’s earned totals 54 percent of its overall mobile game revenue,” Sensor Tower adds.
Certainly, it is no surprise that the United States is the second most successful market for Nintendo. To date, over $300 million in revenue has been generated in the US from their mobile games.
Financial success? Yes. Critical success? No.
Of course, despite the financial success of some of the games, Nintendo’s mobile offerings have generated a fair amount of criticism from fans. Mario Kart Tour reviewed poorly, as did Dr. Mario World.
Due to their financial success, though, the games have been updated regularly. For instance, Dr. Mario World has gotten new worlds, stages, doctors, and assistants. Likewise, Mario Kart Tour has been updated with new tracks. Meanwhile, Nintendo recently added new characters to Fire Emblem Heroes.