Comment & Opinion

Nintendo slouches towards $1 billion of mobile revenue

$87 million still to make

Nintendo slouches towards $1 billion of mobile revenue

Back in May 2018, then new Nintendo president Shintaro Furukawa set out his vision for the company to generate $1 billion of annual revenue from mobile games.

Given this would account for 10% of annual sales, it wasn't a particularly ambitious goal, but 16 months on, Nintendo - and its various mobile development partners - are still building towards their first $1 billion of revenues.

It's a situation underlined by the latest estimate from Sensor Tower, which suggests RPG Dragalia Lost generated $106 million during its first year in the market.

That puts the game in third place in terms of life time revenues behind Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

Both, however, are well behind Fire Emblem Heroes; Nintendo top grossing game at $618 million.

Combining all Nintendo's mobile games and total revenue to-date is $913 million.

Not nothing, for sure, but given Fire Emblem Heroes accounts for 68% of this - a relative percentage that is increasing as Animal Crossing and Dragalia Lost's monentum drops - you do have to wonder what Nintendo has in the tank to ensure it will hit its self imposed goal.

Because what should be most worrying to Nintendo, but what is least surprising to mobile game insiders, is its most successful F2P mobile games tend to be the least popular Nintendo franchises.

Once again, it seems the intricacies of free-to-play engagement and monetization have proved to be kryptonite to the biggest traditional gaming IP.

Next up for that particular challenge - Call of Duty: Mobile.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.