Nintendo released three mobile games last year, with Miitomo, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes all doing well. That gives the company impetus to continue that business strategy into this year, the company has told investors.
“We plan to continue releasing two to three titles per year that consumers can enjoy as Nintendo's smart-device applications,” Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said in an investor Q&A as part of a corporate management policy briefing. The massive – and unexpected - success of Pokemon Go, which Nintendo partly owns, also factored into the decision.
In addition, Kimishima said that Mario will continue to be part of the mobile strategy, although not necessarily every year. “We are using Mario in many aspects of Nintendo's business, so I am sure we will make use of him. However, I do not mean that we will absolutely release a new Mario game for smart devices in the next fiscal year, but rather that Mario currently plays and will continue to play a very active role in many areas of our business.”
Shigeru Miyamoto also said that it will continue to explore different types of mobile applications and payment models, but the company wants to stay flexible. “Since we are able to develop smart-device applications in a relatively short amount of time, we may get an interesting idea about how to use Mario and end up making a Mario application and releasing it with a quick turnaround. In that sense, we will decide whether or not to release a new Mario title in the next fiscal year as we continue to monitor the status of the market.”
Miyamoto added that while 3DS and Switch will be at the core of the business, “we will continue to expand the smart-device business since it has gradually begun to contribute to Nintendo's business as a whole."