Nintendo Planning Major Update for Fire Emblem Heroes and ‘Broadening the Scope’ of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Nintendo this week held its financial results briefing aimed at the second quarter for the fiscal year ending in March 2019 (via Reuters), during which it discussed its smart device business and major updates coming to two of its iOS apps: Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

Starting with Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo's director and president Shuntaro Furukawa said that the company is planning a major version 3.0 update to the iOS game that will arrive around the end of 2018. The president didn't divulge any more information on the update, but ensured that Nintendo will keep pouring effort into development and operation of Fire Emblem Heroes following its huge success on the iOS App Store.


According to Furukawa, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will also be updated in the near future, but this one will be focused on "broadening the scope of the gameplay." The iOS game is a pared-down version of the full games found on consoles like Nintendo 3DS, DS, Wii, and GameCube, and focuses on a small campsite that players can redecorate and customize to their liking, with a few other mini locations that can be visited through an in-game map.

Although details are still scarce, it sounds like Nintendo is planning to slightly expand the explorable area of the game with the update, and potentially add in new gameplay features. The company has consistently held new seasonal events and introduced new features -- like gardening -- over the past year, but its scope has largely stayed the same as when it first launched.

It's doubtful that this means Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will see a full village for players to navigate on iPhone, since Nintendo's mobile business so far has used the strategy of introducing a smaller version of its franchises to entice people to check out the full games on console.

Because of this, it's possible that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's big update could align with the next mainline entry in the franchise on Switch, which is set for release in 2019. Furukawa did not detail when exactly we'll see the iOS update, but noted that "details will be announced closer to the time of the update," so it might not be until next year.

Lastly, the president confirmed that Mario Kart Tour is still on track to be released during the current fiscal year ending in March 2019. After Mario Kart Tour launches, Nintendo will have released six games on the iOS App Store: Miitomo, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Dragalia Lost.


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‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ Reaches $50M Global Revenue, Which ‘Fire Emblem Heroes’ Achieved in 20 Days

Nintendo's latest smartphone app Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has just reached $50 million in player spending across iOS and Android globally, according to data tracked by Sensor Tower. It took the game 289 days to reach this goal, becoming the slowest of Nintendo's latest apps to do so.


Super Mario Run reached the $50 million mark 222 days after its release, while Fire Emblem Heroes achieved the $50 million milestone just 20 days after launching in February 2017. Fire Emblem Heroes has been called Nintendo and DeNA's "most successful mobile game" previously, and today's data cements the game's popularity.

At the one year mark, Fire Emblem Heroes had grossed $295 million worldwide, and as of August 2018 Nintendo has earned $400 million from the game. In a report earlier this week, Sensor Tower noted that Fire Emblem Heroes had grossed $63 million between the months of July and August 2018 alone, a 34 percent jump year-on-year. While it had a slow start, the game's free-to-play structure built on in-app purchases of items like "Orbs" help keep it a consistent earner for Nintendo and DeNA.


Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is also free-to-play and includes in-app purchases for "Leaf Tickets," which can be used to reduce timers, craft items without the necessary materials, and more. While the tickets can be earned through regular gameplay, they are also available to buy with real-world money on the App Store.

Still, the game has yet to match Fire Emblem Heroes' success, and Sensor Tower says that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has earned a majority of its revenue from players in Japan, while those in the United States have been far less interested in it:
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp revenue has largely come from players in Japan, who’ve contributed about 81 percent of the total it has earned to date. The United States is a distant second at about 14 percent. The majority of spending has been on iOS devices, at about 61 percent of revenue. It has been installed more than 25 million times so far.
Recently, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that Nintendo will "continue pushing" for its smartphone apps to adopt pay-once structures instead of being free-to-play, despite the breakout success of Fire Emblem Heroes. The only Nintendo app to release with a fixed price has been Super Mario Run, and Nintendo itself has admitted on numerous occasions that the game has failed its revenue expectations.

The next major Nintendo smartphone game based on an existing property will be Mario Kart Tour, and DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu in February reportedly described the kart racer as free-to-start. While vague, Nintendo uses similar terminology on Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's website, but Moriyasu could also have been referring to Super Mario Run's structure, which allows users to download the game and play the first few levels for free before paying $9.99 to unlock the full game.

Before Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo and developer Cygames will launch the original action RPG Dragalia Lost for iOS and Android later this month, on September 27.


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Nintendo Details Jump in Smartphone Game Profits Following ‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ Launch

Nintendo recently reported earnings for its fiscal third quarter of 2017, including data related to the company's two-year-old smartphone game business. In the report, Nintendo confirmed that its smart device and intellectual property related earnings increased from 10.6 billion yen (about $98 million) in the nine months ended December 31, 2016 to 29.1 billion yen (about $267 million) in the same period in 2017.

While this includes income from Nintendo's smartphone games as well as royalty income, Bloomberg reported that Nintendo's smartphone game profits specifically grew from 8.8 billion yen in the year-ago quarter to 11.2 billion yen this fiscal quarter. The only smartphone game that launched this fiscal quarter for Nintendo was Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which is said to have generated $17 million globally and reached a download number of 22 million since its launch in November. The other major smartphone game to debut from Nintendo in 2017 was Fire Emblem Heroes.


Nintendo said it plans to get its players to continue returning to and enjoying previously released iOS and Android games through ongoing updates, not including the recently confirmed imminent shut down of its first iOS app Miitomo.
In our smart-device business, consumers not only continued to enjoy Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, which became available for download during the previous fiscal year, but also had fun with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, released globally during October and November. Smart devices and IP related income were up to 29.1 billion yen (172% increase on a year-on-year basis).

In our smart-device business, we will focus on operations that encourage more consumers to continue to enjoy playing the applications that they have downloaded
Although Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp are free-to-download apps, they're believed to net Nintendo more of a profit in the long run thanks to players who become enticed to spend money on in-app purchases. Alternatively, Super Mario Run is a free-to-start app where users can play a few levels and then must spend $9.99 to gain access to the full game.

At one point, Nintendo described the freemium model of Fire Emblem Heroes as an "outlier" in its overall smartphone game plan and that it prefers Super Mario Run's pay-once structure, but so far that's been the only app to go that route. Additionally, the company's previous earnings report mentioned Super Mario Run had yet to reach an "acceptable profit point" around 10 months after launch.

Otherwise, Nintendo's earnings report detailed a huge success for the company's Switch console, selling 12.13 million units from April to December 2017 and now totaling 14.86 million units sold to date. Upon this report, Nintendo increased its operating profit outlook from 120 billion yen to 160 billion yen for the year ending March 2018, and bumped up the Switch sales forecast from the already-surpassed 14 million units to 15 million units for the same period.


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Nintendo Launches First Holiday Event in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Nintendo last week launched its newest iOS game, a mobile version of Animal Crossing called Pocket Camp, and it's already being updated with new content in the form of a special holiday event.

Typical Animal Crossing games feature special events that take place on a regular basis, and it appears Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is no exception. The new Christmas-themed event will allow players to earn limited-time clothing items and craft holiday-themed furniture.


To get the holiday items, players need to fulfill timed goals and complete quests for visiting animals to earn candy canes, so the holiday gameplay is essentially identical to standard gameplay, but with the ability to earn special items.

It takes a lot of candy canes to unlock items, but Nintendo's event will last from November 29 to December 25.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ Downloaded Over 15 Million Times Since Launch

Nintendo's latest iOS game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been downloaded at least 15 million times since it first became available for download last week, according to new download estimates shared by Sensor Tower (via TechCrunch).

At an estimated 15 million downloads within six days, Sensor Tower says Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is Nintendo's second most successful launch in terms of raw installation numbers. It didn't garner as many downloads as Super Mario Run, but it did beat out Fire Emblem Heroes.


Comparatively, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp saw fewer downloads than Supercell's Clash Royale during its first six days of release, and while it was downloaded more times than Pokémon Go at launch, Pokémon Go was initially limited to Australia, New Zealand, and the US, while Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been available worldwide since last Tuesday.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is ranked number 10 on the iPhone top grossing chart in Japan, but in the United States, it's ranked at number 72.

It's worth noting that Sensor Tower's data can be somewhat inaccurate. Following the release of Super Mario Run, Sensor Tower suggested it had been downloaded 25 million times in four days, but that number turned out to be incorrect.

Nintendo said Super Mario Run had actually been downloaded 40 million times over the course of four days, so it's possible these Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp estimates are also under the actual number of downloads. Nintendo hasn't yet shared data on the game's success, but we'll update this post if new information becomes available.


For those unfamiliar with the game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp allows players to manage and decorate a campground inhabited by animal campers. There are a range of furniture and clothing items to collect, as well as activities like fishing, catching bugs, and gathering fruit. Leveling up is done through crafting items and luring new animals to the campsite.

As shared by iMore, it appears Nintendo is already working to add new content to the game. Evidence sourced from data-mining an upcoming update suggests new characters, furniture items, and clothing will be added, and Nintendo also appears to be planning to introduce a special holiday event in December.


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‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ Begins Early Worldwide Rollout on the iOS App Store

One month after its announcement during a Nintendo Direct in late October, Nintendo today has begun rolling out Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp onto iOS [Direct Link] and Android devices worldwide, following a limited soft launch in Australia. The game was announced to be coming out tomorrow, November 22, but it has begun appearing on the iOS App Store for some users in the United States, United Kingdom, and France, and potentially other markets where it is launching.

The new game is Nintendo's fourth mobile app created in partnership with developer DeNA and follows Miitomo (launched March 2016), Super Mario Run (December 2016), and Fire Emblem Heroes (February 2017).

Similar to the latter two games, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a mobile-optimized version of its franchise's larger console games, and introduces a few new features into the traditional Animal Crossing gameplay to streamline certain actions for one-handed smartphone sessions. For example, both fishing and bug hunting are as simple as tapping on the screen, and the world that the player occupies -- centered around a campsite -- is scaled down from the villages of games like New Leaf and Wild World.

The main mechanic of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp centers on convincing animal villagers to stick around at your campsite by foraging for materials and crafting their favorite furniture. Outside of the camp, there is also a beach, river, island, and other areas that are accessible through your camper, which you can also customize and decorate to your liking. Additionally, you can visit your real friends to check out their camps to give them "kudos" on their decorations and see what items they're selling in their Market Box.

Any time you visit Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, the game will reflect the time of day and current season of the real world, and Nintendo has said it will be launching seasonal events over the holidays with exclusive furniture, outfits, and item decorations for players to collect.

Images via Touch Arcade

Nintendo's latest smartphone game is free-to-play and uses optional "Leaf Tickets" as in-game currency, but our sister site Touch Arcade got hands-on time with the game in October and found very little reason to spend real money in the game, thanks to gameplay systems that eventually reward players with the items they want if they put in the time to get them.
You can also spend Leaf Tickets to craft any furniture you might not have the materials for, but again, the first session of the game sprays so many of these different things at you that you're really going to need to play the game for a while before you're running low on anything.

There's other "cheater" items (and I'm saying "cheater" with the absolute most exaggerated air quotes imaginable) that you can buy with Leaf Tickets too like fishing nets and honey, which are used to catch loads of fish or bugs in one go- But, it seemed like if I wanted to invest the time I could just fish and catch bugs all day, so this seems like a real weird way to spend premium currency.
Players should note that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp requires a "persistent internet" connection -- mentioned in the game's "digest" trailer -- which seems to be similar to the always online requirement of Super Mario Run. At the time of Super Mario Run's launch, Shigeru Miyamoto said that Nintendo's reasoning behind this move is to "support security" and prevent piracy.

Looking ahead, Nintendo's next mobile game is rumored to be set within The Legend of Zelda universe, although it's still unclear exactly what the gameplay would be for that app.

For more information on Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, head to Nintendo's website, and you can download the game on the iOS App Store for free beginning today [Direct Link]. For those playing on iPhone X, the game has been optimized to support the 5.8-inch display of Apple's new smartphone.


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Nintendo Sets ‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ Release Date for November 22

Nintendo on Twitter today confirmed that the company's upcoming iOS game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, will launch worldwide on November 22. The confirmation of a release date comes nearly one month after the game was first unveiled in late October, after which it soft launched on the Australian iOS App Store and climbed to the top of the charts there faster than either Super Mario Run or Fire Emblem Heroes.

When it launches later this week, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be a miniaturized version of the main games in the series, allowing players to visit and manage a campsite in lieu of a full village. At the camp, players can decorate the location with furniture to attract certain animal characters, as well as go fishing, hunt for bugs, shop, and more to complete quests and craft items to further deck out the camp.



Just like the other games in the series, time passes in real time so when you open the app the game will reflect the time of day in the real world, subsequently affecting certain bug and fish spawns and allowing for upcoming seasonal events. There's also a social aspect that allows players to visit the camps of their friends to get inspired by their designs, and sell or exchange items with them.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be free-to-play, and uses optional "Leaf Tickets" so players can bypass long wait times when they build structures, purchase the materials needed to craft furniture, and more. If you're interested in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, visit our sister site Touch Arcade to read some first impressions on the game ahead of its release on November 22.


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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Tops Australian iOS App Store Faster Than Super Mario Run

Nintendo's newly-announced iOS game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, has soft launched in the Australian iOS App Store, a launch rollout that Nintendo has begun to favor as a way to test its iOS apps prior to a worldwide debut. According to new data gathered by Sensor Tower, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp climbed to the top of the Australian App Store much faster than either Super Mario Run or Fire Emblem Heroes.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp debuted quite high among all iPhone apps on the Australian App Store, hitting around number 2 within the first hour of its soft launch on October 25. Afterwards, the new game reached the number 1 spot on the Australian App Store within 12 hours of its debut. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is Nintendo's fourth smartphone game made in partnership with developer DeNA, following Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and Fire Emblem Heroes.

Chart via Sensor Tower
Hourly App Store category rankings from Sensor Tower App Intelligence show Nintendo’s third mobile game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, off to a strong start in its Australian soft launch on iOS. According to the data, the game reached No. 1 among all iPhone apps faster than Nintendo’s previous mobile releases, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, hitting the impressive milestone within 12 hours of its launch on October 25.
Comparatively, Super Mario Run debuted just below the number 40 ranking. It then hit number 2 after 12 hours on the App Store in Australia, and finally obtained the number 1 spot 14 hours after its soft launch in the country last December.

Fire Emblem Heroes was ranked at number 35 at the 12 hour mark of its respective Australian soft launch earlier this year, and only made it as high as number 13 among all iPhone apps. Fire Emblem isn't quite as well-known a franchise as Mario or Animal Crossing, leading to low download rates on launch day in the United States.


Sensor Tower also reported that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is currently ranked at number 117 among the top grossing iPhone apps in Australia. The game uses "Leaf Tickets" as its form of in-app purchase, allowing players to circumvent certain lengthy wait times for item and furniture building, supplement tickets for crafting materials, add in exclusive animals to their town like Tom Nook and K.K. Slider, and more.

Next, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is set to launch worldwide in late November, although Nintendo hasn't yet confirmed a release date. You can pre-register to be notified as soon as the game hits the App Store in your supported country on Nintendo's website right here.


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