Nintendo is reportedly encouraging its smartphone game development partners to focus on fun instead of maximum revenue. It would appear that Nintendo sees the smartphone gaming market as a way to increase interest in its properties with the hope that its smartphone customers will find their way to the console market, the company's bread and butter.
The Wall Street Journal recently revealed that Nintendo is concerned about its brand image in the smartphone gaming market. The company does not want to appear greedy and so has reportedly asked at least two of its development partners to tone down any mechanics that may lead to excessive spending.
Obviously, this policy does not appeal to the developers working on these projects, since it limits the amount of money they can earn with Nintendo's highly sought-after properties. Dragalia Lost developer CyberAgent Inc. has gone on record stating that Nintendo had asked the studio to adjust its game to avoid any excessive spending by its users. The company even went one step further to claim "Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” and “if we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more,” which paints a very clear picture of a developer frustrated with Nintendo's apparent policy to not take advantage of its customers.
DeNA's chief executive Isao Moriyasu has mirrored Cyberagent Inc's displeasure by claiming that "the smartphone game business is in a slump," which is kind of an odd statement when you consider that DeNa is the developer of Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, two games that have together earned at least $110 million as of 2018.
It would appear that the greed of a few of Nintendo's smartphone game development partners knows no bounds, which is why I'm happy to hear that Nintendo reportedly makes the effort to keep this greed under control. While I'm still not a fan of the monetization and gambling mechanics used in games like Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, it's also clear that the systems used in these games could have easily turned out much worse.
Nintendo is set to launch two new smartphone games sometime this year. The release of Mario Kart Tour has already been delayed once but was recently rescheduled for launch in summer 2019, and Dr. Mario World is also set to come sometime this summer. The monetization for either of these titles has yet to be announced, but it's definitely comforting to know that Nintendo is still focused on fun and increasing interest in its brands instead of maximizing revenue at the expense of its customers.
- Wall Street Journal