Nintendo’s mobile journey since 2016 has been a notable one; from high-earning gacha successes like Fire Emblem Heroes to games that have reached their end of service such as Dr Mario World, from free-to-play games to pay-to-play, and both using established IPs and creating new ones, the Japanese company has certainly been dipping its toes deeper and deeper into the waters of mobile gaming.
The latest mobile-related Nintendo announcement is that the company’s mobile games catalogue has surpassed the 800 million downloads milestone.
Extending its audience
As reported by Nintendo Life, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa revealed that 800 million downloads were surpassed this October across a total of 164 countries and regions.
Highlighting mobile’s potential, he said: "This figure, 800 million, is equivalent to the cumulative unit sales total of all Nintendo hardware since we launched Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom) in 1983. The mobile business has seen those same numbers in just the six and a half years since 2016, when we released our first app."
It was only yesterday (8 November 2022) that Nintendo announced its upcoming formation of Nintendo Systems with DeNA to develop and research digital services. The two companies have worked in partnership on many past and ongoing mobile projects such as Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Mario Kart Tour and Pokémon Masters EX, the latter catching $75 million in its first year.
By releasing games on mobile that use its IPs, Nintendo has been able to reach new audiences with its properties in the hopes of encouraging them into purchasing the Switch and playing main-series games. Fire Emblem Heroes, for example, is Nintendo’s best-performing mobile game in terms of revenue as a title that recently surpassed $1 billion in revenue. Time will tell as to its impact on sales of the upcoming Switch title Fire Emblem Engage.
Meanwhile, Mario Kart Tour raced towards $300 million in revenue this September as it celebrated its third anniversary.