Nintendo has had a phenomenal year in 2018, with record-breaking software sales and a hybrid flagship console that has brought in significant sale numbers for the second year in a row. A more understated and perhaps deceptively overshadowed aspect of the company’s revenue stream, however, lies in its recent foray into the mobile platform. With five mobile titles under its belt (though Miitomo is no longer around), Nintendo’s slow grind in the app store has yielded valuable gems beyond expectations.
According to a recent report by Sensor Tower, Nintendo’s 2018 mobile revenue hit an astounding $348 million, “an increase of 15 percent over 2017.” The last quarter push was especially impressive, as the company set a new personal record for $117 million generated worldwide in the fourth quarter, a staggering 47 percent increase over the same period last year. This was no doubt helped immensely by Nintendo’s newest mobile RPG, Dragalia Lost, which contributed $54.2 million during this time.
By far the biggest mobile title to pay dividend for the Kyoto-based company is last year’s Fire Emblem Heroes. The popularity of its franchise’s games coupled with the appeal of its stylish characters has translated to it dominating 66% ($230 million) of the entire 2018 revenue. To date, the golden goose has brought in $487 million globally across both the App Store and Google Play.
Though the more recent Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp still pulled in an impressive $48.6 million for the year, it definitely proved to be less sustainable than its Fire Emblem counterpart, falling 44.1% on a year-to-year measurement from $8.1 million down to $4.4 million this November.
With the imminent release of Mario Kart on mobile, it’s clear the gaming giant has set its sights on the mobile market as one of its main focuses. With a multi-faceted approach to gaming in the home console, handheld, and mobile space, Nintendo has adapted well to the age of smartphones and streaming, offering a degree of convenience and portability that has no doubt appealed to its large player base, evident by its impressive sales numbers.