While Nintendo’s mobile titles may not be the most lucrative compared to their Switch games, the platform has a wider positive impact for the company. This is according to Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, who, in a recent investor Q&A, claimed that the company’s mobile games had an impact beyond simple profit.
Furukawa claims that their mobile games are useful in expanding Nintendo’s audience, reaching players who might have otherwise been missed by their Switch titles. This has the benefit of expanding the fanbase of Nintendo’s franchises, even if these franchises aren’t as directly profitable on mobile.
“For example, we have broadened the fan base for Nintendo IP like Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, and Mario Kart, and in doing so increased our points of contact with customers,” said Furukawa.
“Sales from the mobile business do not account for a very large percentage of Nintendo’s overall business, but the mobile business itself is significant in that it provides a wide range of customers a way other than Nintendo Switch to continue playing games using Nintendo IP over a long period.”
Furukawa uses Animal Crossing as a notable example. The 2017 mobile title Animal Crossing Pocket Camp introduced a number of players to the Animal Crossing franchise, who later went on to purchase 2020’s New Horizons on the Switch – a game that has far exceeded expectations, surpassing its lifetime sales predictions within just two months.
Nintendo’s work on the mobile platform has also been useful in expanding Nintendo Account signups, which allows Nintendo to create longer-lasting ties with consumers who might later be persuaded over to the Switch.
This response notably follows a recent Bloomberg report that Nintendo was looking to wind down its mobile efforts. It seems likely that Nintendo won’t be entirely moving away from the platform.