Nintendo Mobile Games Have Generated Over $1 Billion USD in Player Spending
A new report from app store intelligence site Sensor Tower has revealed that Nintendo’s library of smartphone titles have now generated more than $1 billion USD in player spending.
According to the data, Nintendo’s six mobile games — Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Dragalia Lost, Mario Kart Tour, Super Mario Run, and Dr. Mario World — have generated more than $1 billion USD in lifetime revenue from global player spending on the App Store and Google Play, and have amassed a combined 452 million downloads worldwide.
Fire Emblem Heroes accounts for $656 million USD of the total, or 61 percent, while Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp comes in second with 12 percent followed by Dragalia Lost in third at 11 percent. Mario-related games round things out with Mario Kart Tour at 8 percent, Super Mario Run at 7 percent, and Dr. Mario World at 1 percent.
According to the data, 54 percent of the $1 billion USD total was generated in Nintendo’s home country of Japan while the US has the second-highest player-spending total with 29 percent ($316 million). In fact, only Mario Kart Tour and Super Mario Run have generated more money in the US than Japan — all other games have performed better in Nintendo’s home country.
As far as download numbers go, Super Mario Run ranks first at 244 million, while Mario Kart Tour is at 147 million. Fire Emblem Heroes, on the other hand, accounts for only four percent of Nintendo’s total downloads.
Sensor Tower also explained how Nintendo has been experimenting with different monetization techniques in its mobile games:
Nintendo has been experimenting with various monetization strategies since it first entered the mobile market in mid-2016. While its 2016 earnings from Super Mario Run amounted to a modest $26 million, it was in February 2017, with the hugely successful launch of Fire Emblem Heroes, that Nintendo found its mobile footing. Despite being lower ranked in terms of downloads share, the financial success of Fire Emblem Heroes—which boasts average revenue-per-download of $41—suggests that Nintendo has hit upon a winning formula with the gacha model.
Although it has since experimented with other methods of monetization, such as subscriptions in Mario Kart Tour and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Nintendo hasn’t yet managed to replicate the same scale of financial success with its subsequent titles. It did, however, manage to earn more than $350 million from its mobile offerings in 2019, and the publisher will no doubt continue experimenting with—and refining—monetization models in its existing and future titles to grow that total along with new releases later in 2020.
Sensor Tower notes that the figures from Nintendo-published apps like Nintendo Switch Online or social networking app Miitomo were not included in the data.