This past year has been pretty great for Nintendo. The success of the Nintendo Switch has helped create a fanbase around a new generation of games, and the company’s biggest franchises helped guide that success with timely new titles like Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The console continued to perform well this past Black Friday, when it became a top seller without any discounts to boost it, and while it’s easily one of the best wins for the company this year, it’s not the only one. Nintendo’s 3DS family found its audience with several new game releases and the addition of the 2DS XL, and people are still clamoring for the SNES Classic. But one unexpected platform has risen in numbers to compete Nintendo’s console and handheld lines, with three new game releases on mobile turning over fantastic profits for Nintendo’s first big move into the space.
According to the analytics researchers at Sensor Tower, Nintendo’s three mobile titles -- Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem: Heroes and the newly-released Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Within the first nine days of each game’s release, each one made millions in in-game purchases. Fire Emblem: Heroes generated $30 million in micro transaction sales; Super Mario Run made $24 million; and Pocket Crossing took home $10 million. Currently in Pocket Camp, Japan leads the charge in spending, with 86 percent of player spending originating from the Japanese audience.
Analysts are already predicting that Nintendo could take back control of the console market with a timely and creative Pokemon game release on the Nintendo Switch, but focusing on 3DS and mobile might also be beneficial. Despite each new game making a bit less than the last, Nintendo has an obvious audience on mobile, and its free-to-play games continue to make headlines with each new milestone.