Nintendo Might Be Calling It Quits On Mobile Gaming

Nintendo was slow and late to jump on the mobile gaming market but it seems will be leaving it very early, too. One would think that the sudden surge in gaming across all platforms the past months would spur Nintendo to expedite the launch of its mobile titles. It is, however, taking the opposite approach and is seemingly winding down its mobile plans after the disappointing revenues of its mobile games and the spectacular success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Switch.

Some will probably say that Nintendo just doesn't get mobile gaming anyway. The games it has released so far used its most popular IPs like Mario, Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem. Only the latter, however, could be deemed close to being a commercial success while all others lacked the elements that make the most successful mobile games addictive and profitable.

That is, ironically, by design as these elements run contrary to Nintendo's projected family-friendly image. It has reportedly directed developers working on its mobile titles not to include elements that would force players to spend a lot of time and money on games. Given the scrutiny that gaming addiction, loot boxes, and gacha systems are now under, that might have been for the best for Nintendo.

Unfortunately, that also left the company without a viable business model to use its mobile business. It's most successful title has been Fire Emblem Heroes which does use a gacha system to some extent but also requires a steady flow of new content and a long list of characters. It's a strategy that the likes of Square Enix have used to some amount of success but just doesn't sit well with Nintendo.

The recent success of the latest Animal Crossing installment could have also lessened the pressure on the company to have a successful mobile business. It may still launch promised mobile titles that are already in development but, moving forward, it could just focus on its consoles. Especially when it won't have to pay any app store tax on those.