Just in time for the Thanksgiving, which usually means a lot of time to kill, Nintendo will be fully opening the Animal Crossing floodgates this week. It’s third major mobile game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Edition will probably be even more of niche title compared to Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, which could make it a huge gamble for the gaming giant. At the same time, Animal Crossing: Pocket Edition could be the perfect title to introduce a younger generation of would be gamers to Nintendo’s name.
Nintendo wasn’t all that satisfied with how Super Mario Run turned out in terms of revenues. It wasn’t bad in terms of other numbers. It had 200 million downloads, impressive for an endless runner, giving Nintendo a lot of exposure globally.
Those downloads, however, didn’t translate to profits. A free game, Super Mario Run had a one-time $10 in-app purchase to unlock majority of the game. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t sit well with majority of mobile gamers. And that was with an already established and popular franchise, albeit twisted in a way that only resembled the franchise in name and appearance.
Animal Crossing, in contrast, is a much younger property and one that is probably only known, but well loved, by those already owning Nintendo devices. At the same time, it carries less baggage and is more oriented towards less hardcore gamers. The Pocket Camp mobile edition, then, makes an almost perfect introduction to the world of Nintendo.
Previously soft launched in Australia, Nintendo of America announced that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will go global on November 22. The game will adopt a more known, but still unpopular, free-to-play with in-app purchases business model, which will surely run afoul of mobile gamers again.