Nintendo feeling confident after the launches of "Super Mario Run" and "Fire Emblem: Heroes"

Nintendo's foray into the world of mobile gaming is as interesting as it is confusing. The titles that the company has released so far rely on different approaches for monetization, and some of them have not resonated too well with certain users (Super Mario Run, anyone?). Fortunately, there seems to be a method to this madness, and Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima recently revealed what is the desired effect from the endeavor. 

In an interview with Time Magazine, Mr. Kimishima discussed the strategic importance of Miitomo, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem: Heroes. Each of the three games were elaborate experiments with different objectives. The 18 million downloads of Miitomo proved that Nintendo characters are interesting to the mobile audience, while the vastly different monetization techniques in Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem: Heroes were used to determine the best way for gaining income from users.

The results from these "probes" have been encouraging – Super Mario Run has been downloaded 78 million times on iOS, bringing in $53 million in the process. As you may know, the game doesn't have ads or in-app purchases, but does require a $10 unlocking fee for any player that wants to go past its third level. As for how many people actually committed to the purchase, Tatsumi Kimishima said:

This relatively high asking price has been described as a viable way to do business by Kimishima, but he also added that it is a “new way of monetization” that is yet to become popular.

Speaking of popular, the all too familiar “free-to-play plus in-app purchases” model has been the way to go for Fire Emblem: Heroes. 8 days after its release, the game has raked in $5 million for the Kyoto-based company.

As a result of these experiments, Nintendo has gained valuable experience and confidence in its efforts to become a major competitor on the mobile scene.

The overall ambitions for Nintendo's mobile business were also discussed in the interview. Kimishima explained that there are three main goals. The first is to push the company's IP to a large new audience that may not have experienced its ecosystem before. Secondly, Nintendo wants to make its mobile business a "pillar in and of itself," alongside its consoles and games. The last goal is to create a type of synergy by using mobile gaming to increase the sales of other titles that have the same characters.



1. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Fire Emblem Heros is Fantastic.

6. ebilcake

Posts: 1231; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

No, no it's not. In game purchases are too expensive, Seriously? £1.99 for 3 orbs? That's not enough enough for one summon, £5.99 for 10 orbs and chances are you'll get something worthless anyway. I don't even want to know how much people are spending on this piece of crap. They're taking the piss, you need to grind for hours to get anywhere without purchases. If you think that's fantastic then you're an idiot.

2. Valdomero

Posts: 707; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Sucks to live outside the US :( Damn google policies, I can't download the game 'cause I'm not in 'Merica...

3. intos

Posts: 93; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

It's good to feel confident , it's bad to don't see reality ! Many people download super Mario but how many they buy it ? Switch also don't seem something that will change the game , its feels like a fail again !


Posts: 120; Member since: Sep 30, 2015

O my friend you have no idea how wrong you are about the Switch only to see the difference in advertising between the Switch and previous Nintendo consoles should be enough!!! Btw did you heard the news about preorders being sold out?

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5807; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Good, now with that confident they should stop their timed exclusivity deals with Apple I can understand why smaller devs need those deals, but a big company like Nintendo shouldn't screw over half/most their fans for a quick buck

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless