To date, Nintendo has released a variety of games for mobile phones ever since it entered the scene in 2016. However, a recent report by Bloomberg has revealed that the Kyoto-based video game company may be considering to re-shift their focus back to console gaming and cut back from the mobile scene.
According to the report, Nintendo’s supposed change-of-heart came after reviewing the revenues gained from its mobile games. Compared to the commercial success of the recently released Animal Crossing: New Horizons on their Nintendo Switch console, it was made apparent to the company that its mobile division was not up to par.
Most mobile games adopt a freemium model which allows the game to be played for free, but features elements such as lottery systems which are accessible by consuming rare in-game currency. These can be earned by playing the game but only in small numbers, and the other alternative to obtain them in large amounts is by spending real-life money in exchange.
This mechanic has been heavily scrutinised by authorities, and is even considered to be a form of gambling. Not wanting to tarnish its family-friendly image, Nintendo is said to have asked its mobile development partners to not force players to spend a lot in their games. While somewhat noble, this would also ironically result in low revenues generated by their mobile gaming division.
Bloomberg’s report added that Nintendo believes that its franchises shine brightest on its own consoles, something that could not be equally achieved or enjoyed on mobile devices. However, their retreat would not spell the end of its mobile division as it would continue to provide newer content to its existing games on smartphones, and may even introduce newer ones down the line.