Nintendo has advised its development partners to not prioritse player spending in its mobile games, according to a report.
Nintendo has long seen smartphone games as a way to increase interest its IP outside of its own hardware, as well as potentially support sales of its consoles like the Nintendo Switch.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, an employee of the Japanese games giant allegedly said that the company does not want to be seen as being greedy through mobile game monetisation and therefore opportunities with microtransactions are not pushed as hard.
DeNA has worked with Nintendo for the many of its mobile outings, including Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Fire Emblem Heroes has been a big hit on mobile, raking in an estimated $500 million over two years.
Other releases have struggled to match that performance, however.
Another of its mobile titles that doesn't utilise Nintendo IP, Cygames' Dragalia Lost, has performed better than those other releases but did seemingly has not met the high expectations CyberAgent placed on it.
The title is estimated to have grossed $75 million since its September 2018 launch, overtaking sales of Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
CyberAgent was still forced to slash its fiscal-year earnings forecast for the first time in 17 years because of other underperforming parts of its business, which Dragalia Lost was unable to make up for.
"We would have made a lot more"
"Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” claimed a CyberAgent official.
“If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”
A Nintendo spokesperson acknowledged how Nintendo communicates with its client by saying: “We discuss various things, not just limited payments, to deliver high-quality fun to consumers."
This latest report comes a year after Nintendo president Shintaro Furukawa outlined his intentions to turn the company's mobile games into a $1 billion annual business.
We'll be hosting a Monetizer track during our Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle conference on May 13th to 14th, where industry professionals can learn all about monetisation opportunities in mobile games.