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Mobile Monday: Nintendo’s Growing Mobile Business, Game App Developers’ Recent Strategies for Engaging Users

Posted May 10, 2020

Known primarily for its console games, Nintendo has assembled a list of popular mobile titles over the past few years. Mobile versions of popular titles like Mario Kart and Animal Crossing have contributed to the recent successes of the company. Nintendo revealed that revenue grew 11% during their last fiscal year. Meanwhile, GameRefinery shared their observations on app developers’ strategies for engaging users during the lockdown. Get all the details in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Mario Kart Tour and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Help Nintendo Dominate on Mobile

According to their public financial report, Nintendo’s mobile business earned $481.2 million during their last fiscal year which ended in March. The total equates to an 11% increase year-over-year. The game giant’s overall revenue reached $12.2 billion, a 9% increase from the previous year. This comes on the heels of Sensor Tower’s data saying that Nintendo’s mobile games had reached $1 billion in lifetime revenue earlier this year. 

The increase can be attributed to the success of new releases like Mario Kart Tour, which was Apple’s most downloaded game of 2019. Only a month after its release the title had skyrocketed to 123 million downloads and banked around $37 million. The growth of Nintendo’s mobile business is expected to continue thanks to existing titles like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. In April, the game earned $7.9 million making it the best month for revenue since launching in October 2017, according to Sensor Tower. This was a direct result of the ongoing popularity surrounding Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which released on March 20th. With this, Pocket Camp’s lifetime revenue surpassed $150 million as player spending rose 106% to $1.7 million a week after New Horizons’ launch.

Mobile Game Developers Use Rewards and Collaborative Campaigns to Engage Players

GameRefinery released COVID-19 Observations – Mobile Games: May 2020 which highlights the ways game app developers have engaged users during the pandemic. Some games have addressed the situation directly by raising awareness of the virus and notifying users on how to stop the spread within the app. Publishers have also partnered with health organizations in campaigns like #PlayApartTogether to encourage people around the world to connect digitally while maintaining social distancing.

The report also says that game developers have been incentivizing users who are playing more because they are stuck at home. Many of them have offered free items, currency, boosts, and other in-game rewards to players. Candy Crush Saga and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes are among the several games that have extended events and rolled out more playable content allowing players to engage more.

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Mobile Monday examines the latest news, trends, and developments in mobile apps, tech, and advertising. Do you have a story to share for the next Mobile Monday?   

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