Nintendo will drop between two and three games on mobile each year. That comes from Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima during an Investor Q&A Session.
In 2016, we saw Super Mario Run on iOS. We also saw Miitomo, though that social network app wasn’t so much a game. In 2017, we’ve already seen Fire Emblem Heroes. We’ll see Super Mario Run jump to Android, and we should see Animal Crossing.
Mobile games are meant to get players playing Nintendo’s consoles
Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto reinforced the idea that the company’s mobile gaming efforts exist not just as a revenue stream, but as a way to get players playing Nintendo’s consoles.
“We will continue to make use of smart devices in order to increase the amount of people who experience Nintendo’s IP… Nintendo Switch will remain our most important business, [but] we will continue to expand the smart-device business since it has gradually begun to contribute to Nintendo’s business as a whole.”
Nintendo’s first-party hardware will remain the priority. The company’s happy to make money with mobile, but it is insistent upon the idea that mobile gameplay will translate to more traditional sales.
Mobile phone usage has increased as phones have gotten better: better processors, battery life, display resolution, and data speeds. Mobile phones have changed people consume and even create content. So it makes sense that Nintendo would focus efforts to expand its ecosystem beyond traditional console gaming.
Heck, it worked for Pokémon Sun and Moon, right?