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Could mobile be Nintendo’s new stomping ground?

Nintendo controller

Nintendo once reigned supreme in the console world. Since PlayStation and Xbox became the top dogs, Nintendo has been struggling to find the same success.

That’s not to say it has completely fallen off the face of the Earth. Its Nintendo Switch and vintage takes, such as the SNES Classic Mini, have down well – with the retro games flying off the shelves.

But could the mobile market be where Nintendo will focus next?

You’d be forgiven for assuming that the gaming company had already seen mass success with Pokémon Go, with popularity reaching fever pitch after it was released. However, as Engadget reported last year, Nintendo didn’t develop or publish the game. Instead, it has a 32% stake in The Pokémon Company, which markets and licenses the Pokémon franchise to external developers.

While it was not so long ago that Nintendo took the view that it would not be bringing its famous franchises to mobile, focusing its own devices, it seems the company has had a change of heart – or rather, seen the possibility and popularity of mobile games.

Nintendo’s current plans to take over the mobile market have been somewhat delayed. TechRadar notes that the company planned to have five mobile titles on the market by March this year but Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp saw huge delays.

And the initial reaction hasn’t resulted in quite the success they were hoping for, with Forbes recently reporting that the game had 25 million downloads but only generated $17m in revenue – for comparison, Pokémon Go had more than 750 million downloads and produced over $1.2bn in revenue.

In order to increase the pace of its output next year, the Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo is looking to work with more developers in 2018. At the moment, the company has only been working with the mobile developer DeNA. But the newspaper claims that by “partnering with a larger number of developers, Nintendo believes it’ll be able to release more games at a faster pace.”

And it seems Nintendo is wasting no time, with the company said to already be in talks with Puzzle and Dragons developer GungHo Online.

It definitely makes sense for Nintendo to venture into the mobile market. As TechRadar explains, having mobile titles will not only diversify Nintendo’s revenue streams, it will also introduce mobile gamers to Nintendo titles, increasing the chance of them moving to Nintendo hardware for more in-depth experiences.

The publication notes that the company has already seen this success following the release of Pocket Camp in Japan, with core Animal Crossing sales increasing in the country since the game’s release.

While it is unclear yet which titles Nintendo will be bringing to mobile, it seems very likely that we can expect to see more Nintendo mobile games next year.

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