Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has given some insight into the company’s new mobile business.
In an extensive interview with TIME, the exec says that its latest mobile release, Fire Emblem Heroes, has generated $5m in its first week on digital storefronts. If reports from Sensor Tower are to be believed, $2.9m was generated in its first day.
Kimishima also revealed that the firm’s debut mobile title, Miitomo, had been downloaded around 18m times, and reaffirmed that Super Mario Run had hit 78m downloads.
The Nintendo boss said that the publisher has its eyes on a 10 per cent conversion rate with regards to paying customers for Super Mario Run, and gave some insight into how the revenue from Super Mario Run is being distributed.
“At this point Nintendo has launched three mobile titles, Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and Fire Emblem Heroes, which launched on February 2,” Kimishima says.
“With Miitomo, which was a game that involved Mii characters and communication, we really wanted to see how we could with this first foray into the mobile market communicate with the public. More than looking at profit we were wondering if we could get people interested in Nintendo characters on their mobile devices. And the result is that we think we’ve seen a commensurate expansion in that interest.
“We haven’t reached 20 million downloads yet, but I think we’re around 18 million downloads for Miitomo, which shows how many customers we’re reaching. With regard to Super Mario Run, as of the day of our latest financial announcement, we’ve had 78 million downloads. With regards to how many people have paid money, we’re hoping for more than 10%, and while we haven’t yet reached 10%, at this point we’re somewhere north of halfway there.
“However, if you analyse this, it’s pretty interesting. The game is being distributed in more than 150 countries, but it’s the top 20 countries that account for more than 90 per cent of the total revenue. If we look further at the people who are paying for the game within those 20 countries, we’re not at 10%, but the number is rising. So what is it that I’m trying to say? If we look at the countries where the game is on sale, how many people are paying for it, the way the game is being monetised, for 1,200 yen in Japan and for $9.99 in the U.S., and we look at how customers are reacting to a one-time payment option, I think we can see that this a viable way to do business. I would also add that this is a new way of monetisation and so not yet popular.
“Lastly, Fire Emblem Heroes is a free-to-play style game in which you can purchase items. Less than a half-day after its release, it had been downloaded over a million times, and we’re seeing revenue today at $5m U.S. dollars. The point I’m making is that we’re experimenting with different types of monetisation. There’s the type I mentioned we’re using with Super Mario Run, and the different style we’re using with Fire Emblem Heroes. As a result of these experiments with monetisation styles, we’re gaining what you might call confidence in our mobile business efforts.”