Pokemon Go is the latest worldwide phenomenon with people being able to walk around in real life and capture Pokemon.
I believe this game is doing well for two reasons.
- Mobile Game: Being a mobile game, anyone with a recent and up to date iOS or Android smartphone can play, not like only people who own a 3DS for example.
- Nostalgia: The app provides an experience that is about as close as it can get to what it would be like to be Ash Ketchum or like it was in the TV shows.
Now what success has Pokemon Go had?
At the time of writing:
- It has reached No. 1 on the iOS and Android app stores in the U.S. and Australia.
- Nintendo’s shares on the stock market have gone up 25% or about US$7.5 billion.
- It now hold the recorded for the highest revenue generated in the shortest period of time since launch, beating a fairly recent game being Clash Royale (the sequel to Clash of Clans).
- It is now planned to be released in Europe and Asia in the next few days.
- The Pokemon that can be captured currently is only the 1st generation (there are currently 6 before Pokemon Sun & Moon on the 3DS later this year).
- Niantic (developer) has announced they’ll be adding ability to battle others near-by and trade with others in the near future.
Now that is quite phenomenal for the success they are having but it begs the question, “Does Pokemon Go’s success mean more mobile focus from Nintendo?”
To start with, let’s look at Nintendo’s first mobile app:
Miitomo was designed to be a new kind of social network where you answer questions and share your answers with other friends you have added to your network.
I personally still use it on a daily basis, but only really to rack up My Nintendo points as they may be useful in the near future once the Nintendo NX is released, but have not added anyone on it.
The reason I haven’t added anyone on it, is because I do not know anyone else that is using it, hence why it probably flopped.
One of the main reasons Pokemon Go is such a success and so quickly, is because it is built on an existing IP that everyone is familiar with.
Now you must assume that if Nintendo made all of their IP’s be more like Pokemon Go with an augmented reality focus to it, that it would be a success?
This is likely not the case because it seems what Nintendo is doing, is creating new experiences for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets that can a) not either be achieved on Nintendo hardware or b) has more value to it if more players are using the service such as Miitomo and Pokemon Go.
What should Nintendo bring to mobile devices?
With this approach in mind, you must now be asking if Nintendo should still be putting even old games like Super Mario Bros. or Mario Kart, or Zelda from NES on mobile devices?
I honestly reckon that if they did, it would be a different strategy to what they are doing currently.
Miitomo and Pokemon Go are both freemium apps meaning you play it for free and pay if you want upgrades in them. For example buy more Poke Balls in Pokemon Go.
For games like Super Mario Bros. and Mario Kart, Nintendo would charge more like $5-10 up front with no in-app purchases.
But then it all comes down too…
Likelihood of this all happening:
If I were Nintendo I would at the very least be exploring even more ways to bring Nintendo’s existing IP’s to mobile.
This seems like having the mobile division could help increase revenue for the company while remaining in the handheld and console business or at least for a few more years.
Nintendo has said they have 5 more mobile apps being produced that will be released between now and March 2017 (not sure if Pokemon Go is one of them) with Animal Crossing and Kid Icarus apps next to be released.
In short, it makes sense for Nintendo to keep doing what they are doing with free-to-play experiences and I would not be surprised if Nintendo does not even bring older games to mobile for an upfront cost of $5-10, until they at least exit the handheld and consoles business and possibly go 3rd party.
So what do you think Nintendo should do? Be sure to leave a comment below or on the linked tweet on my Twitter page.
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