While Nintendo has been making quite an impact with users on the mobile front with franchises like Super Mario and Animal Crossing, it hasn’t quite made a killing when it comes to the financial side of things – unless, of course, you count a rather unlikely game that’s generating a mad amount of money.
A new report from Sensor Tower indicates that Fire Emblem Heroes, the mobile equivalent of the company’s adventure series, has managed to drum up an estimated $295 million in worldwide player spend during its first year of release. And that actually adds up quite a bit, as that means it made more than five times the revenue of what Super Mario Run generated since its release. (That game only earned about $60 million since its launch.)
Part of this, according to the report, is due to the differences of monetization between the two titles. Super Mario Run simply requires a one time paid unlock to get all the levels within the game (around $10), while Fire Emblem relies more on traditional items for use in the game, such as earning random loot and purchasing consumables.
As you can see from the chart above, Fire Emblem Heroes is still a long ways off from paying dividends on the mobile market, as it sits at about a third of what Clash Royale managed to make over the past year, at $967 million. Meanwhile, Pokemon GO! continues to eclipse all comers, making a whopping $1.1 billion in the past year.
Nintendo has been getting some good player outreach with mobile fare like Miitomo and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, but it appears that Fire Emblem is striking the right notes with its monetization system, and both Nintendo and its mobile partner, DeNA, may be taking this into account with future releases, such as the forthcoming Mario Kart mobile game, which the team confirmed would run on a free-to-play basis.
What’s more, Fire Emblem Heroes has found worldwide appeal, as the report notes that 30 percent of the game’s revenue came from the United States, and 60 percent came from Japan. That’s a more interesting balance than Pocket Camp’s revenue, in which 82 percent of its revenue came from Japan, and only 13 percent from the United States.
We’ll see what changes the companies make with Mario Kart and its other mobile efforts, but there’s no question that Fire Emblem Heroes has flourished more than expected.
Fire Emblem Heroes is available now for mobile devices.