Despite an initial mixed reception, Miitomo has reportedly been a moderate success for the Japanese video game company. Earlier this month Nintendo reported that over 10 million users in Japan have downloaded the app, resulting in a revenue of approximately $280,000 USD a week through in-app microtransactions, according to an estimate from SurveyMonkey. It’s worth noting, that Nintendo refuses to confirm this number, only stating that is not far off from the real revenue figure. It’s unclear how many users Miitomo has attracted worldwide.
It’s likely Nintendo and DeNA will continue with the free-to-play microtransaction model it adopted with Miitomo, possibly charging players for character upgrades in Fire Emblem and new furniture in Animal Crossing, while still giving free access to the overall games. Unlike many mobile developers, Nintendo has repeatedly referred to this monetization model as free-to-start, rather than free-to-play.
Animal Crossing is a virtual community simulator that features cute, human-like animals. Players live in a small village inhabited by these creatures and perform various activities with them. Despite the series cute aesthetic, the series has built a hardcore following of players over the years. Fire Emblem is a long-running Nintendo turn-based role-playing franchise where players control an army of characters on a grid like battlefield.
As part of Nintendo’s partnership with mobile game developer DeNA, both companies plan to release five mobile titles by the end of 2017. It’s expected that we’ll learn more about Nintendo’s upcoming mobile apps at E3 in June.
As a side note, Nintendo also revealed today that the NX, its upcoming handheld home console hybrid device that was at one point rumoured to be running on Android, is set for a 2017 release date. Furthermore, Nintendo says that the company’s eagerly anticipated upcoming Wii U The Legend of Zelda title, will be playable for the first time at E3 2016.