Nintendo Avoids Abusive Money Making Schemes in their Mobile Games

Nintendo Avoids Abusive Money Making Schemes in their Mobile Games

They're leaving money on the table to preserve their brand image.

pocru by pocru on Mar 07, 2019 @ 02:25 AM (Staff Bios)
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Nintendo started venturing into the world of mobile development in 2015, teaming up with well-known mobile developer DeNA and CyGames to make it happen. In the process, they’ve released a few games: Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, and their latest game, a new IP called Dragalia Lost. So far, most of these games have ‘underperformed’ as far as Nintendo is concerned, with Fire Emblem Heroes Gacha-style gameplay being the most successful, while every other game has been below expectations, at least as far as revenue goes.

That’s bad news for Nintendo, but here’s the bit that’s really interesting: according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, that’s apparently by design. Apparently, Nintendo has prevented their mobile partner from going “too far” with certain revenue models, and altogether preventing the use of certain money-making tactics, with the specific goal of preventing people from spending too much money on their games.

CyberAgent, the parent company of CyGames, said this to the Wall Street Journal:

"Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game. If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more."


The goal, from Nintendo’s standpoint, is to avoid looking like an exploitative, abusive company, to maintain its brand image as a family-friendly alternative to the mainstream gaming sphere. The company was even specifically worried about how it would look if it were caught pursuing “whales,” a term used within the industry for the small percentage of users who spend ludicrous amounts of money on a single game.

Heck, Nintendo even reported that it made the in-game lottery in Dragalia Lost kinder to players once they got feedback at how hard it was to earn rare items.

I don’t know if this is a PR stunt or if CyberAgent is legitimately complaining about how Nintendo does business, but I do know I literally downloaded Fire Emblem Heroes after I heard the report, so, if it is simply PR, it worked.

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