When you think of smartphone games, Nintendo is perhaps one of the last companies to come up in the conversation. Yet Nintendo has expanded several franchises, from Pokemon to Animal Crossing, to iOS and Android devices.
Apparently, it is a partnership with several developers that is costing them money, due to Nintendo not wanting to be seen as greedy towards their customers.
According to several sources from the Wall Street Journal, several smartphone game makers working with Nintendo have stated that the company is less concerned about making money through smartphone games, and has actively told its partners, such as DeNA Co. and CyberAgent, to adjust the games so that players do not have to spend too much money on microtransactions.
"Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” a CyberAgent employee told the Wall Street Journal. “If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”
CyberAgent, the dev team behind the Nintendo Published Dragalia Lost, has adjusted their revenue projections due to the performance of the game being "slower than expected" in January, resulting in a substantial 20% drop in revenue expectations in the company's gaming sector, from 50 billion yen ($447 million USD) to 40 billion yen ($357 million USD).
A Nintendo spokesperson stated to the Wall Street Journal that “We discuss various things, not just limited to payments, to deliver high-quality fun to consumers.”
Despite the claims made to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has continued to expand their smartphone portfolio, with current president Shuntaro Furukawa hoping to generate close to 100 billion yen ($910 million USD) in business in the future, mostly to emulate the success of Niantic's Pokemon Go. An already announced Mario Kart game, Mario Kart Tour, planned for release this summer, and rumors of a Legend of Zelda mobile game already in development.
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