Mobile gaming has become an unstoppable financial juggernaut in recent years, so it should come as no surprise that Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes has grossed almost a third of a billion dollars in its first year of availability.
The portable installation in the game giant’s popular strategy series was five times as profitable as Super Mario Run was in its first year, and while Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has only been out for a few months, it’s still tracking well behind what Heroes has made.
Its success is no doubt thanks to its Summoning mechanic, which allows users to exchange a currency of ‘orbs’ (which can of course be purchased with real money) in exchange for in-game characters. With the strength of your team being determined by the luck of the draw and certain characters only being available for short windows of time, it’s easy to see how such a system can turn a tidy profit.
Nevertheless, Heroes‘ success still can’t measure up to some of its contemporaries, as the likes of Supercell’s Clash Royale made more than three times as much in the same period of time and without the benefit of a popular brand like Fire Emblem to push more interest.
Nintendo has announced plans to release more games (including a mobile Mario Kart title) using Super Mario Run‘s “free-to-start” model, which while perhaps more consumer-friendly is also considerably less profitable.