Nintendo has released its latest iOS game, Dr. Mario World, one day early. Players can head to the iOS App Store now [Direct Link] and download the game for free today in the United States and many other regions (via TouchArcade).
Dr. Mario World is a puzzle game that tasks players with matching capsules with viruses in order to clear every virus on the board. In addition to Mario, other well-known Nintendo characters that appear in the game include Peach, Bowser, Koopa Troopa, Goomba, and more.
Each character has specific skills related to eliminating the viruses, and players can assign each one to the doctor and assistant role to experiment with various character skill combinations. In total, Dr. Mario World has over 100 stages across a series of worlds, and Nintendo will update the game with new worlds, doctors, and more on a regular basis.
The game also supports a multiplayer feature that lets you play with friends and family around the world in a versus mode, or help one another out by sending and receiving hearts that you can use in single player mode.
Dr. Mario World is free to start, and includes optional in-game purchases [Direct Link].
Nintendo's newest mobile game, Dr. Mario World, is set to launch on iOS and Android devices on Wednesday, July 10, Nintendo announced on Twitter this evening.
First announced in January, Dr. Mario World is based on the 1990 puzzle game Dr. Mario that tasked players with arranging different colored pills as they fell from the top of the screen to clear them from the game board and eliminate viruses.
Nintendo has launched a website for Dr. Mario World, complete with videos on the gameplay. Like the original game, Dr. Mario World is a match three, where the goal is to clear viruses from the board by making matches.
Players need to eliminate all of the viruses before running out of a set number of capsules. Scoring is based on how many capsules are left at the end of a level. Nintendo says there will be five worlds at launch, with more to be added in the future.
Dr. Mario World is a freemium game and there will be in-app purchases that allow you to continue to play the game after your stamina diminishes (though it also refills over time). Diamonds can be purchased for adding more capsules, replenishing the aforementioned stamina meter, and purchasing items.
#DrMarioWorld launches for iOS and Android devices on 7/10! Follow the official @DrMarioWorld_EN account to stay up to date on all the latest news, and pre-register today!
Nintendo today kicked off the beta for its mobile game Mario Kart Tour, limited to Android in Japan and the United States. Thanks to players starting to get their hands on the game, we now have a video and a few screenshots of Mario Kart Tour that provide a good idea of what you can expect from the mobile version of Mario Kart (via iGeneration).
Images via iGeneration
Like the console versions of the franchise, Mario Kart Tour is a kart racer set in the Mushroom Kingdom, tasking players with surpassing their rivals by using drifts and items to gain an edge. Mario Kart Tour appears to use the same single-handed control scheme as Super Mario Run, allowing players to swipe with their thumb to control their karts (or choose motion controls), while the kart accelerates on its own.
Tracks are taken from previous iterations of Mario Kart, including the original Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash, and Mario Kart 7. There are Grand Prix cups as well that contain a collection of tracks to race through, but each track only includes two laps (instead of the typical three lap structure of most Mario Kart races).
The game's default controls automatically cause karts to drift around corners, but anyone wanting more of a challenge can turn on manual mode. There are four levels of difficulty (50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and 200cc) and the same soundtrack used in previous games in the franchise.
In screenshots, many of the expected Mario characters can also be seen as playable: Luigi, Toad, Shy Guy, Waluigi, Peach, Toadette, and more. According to some beta testers, character unlocks will be the big in-app purchase for the game, with some drivers considered "rare" and coming with advantages during races like having unique items and track-specific bonuses.
Looks like Mario Kart Tour beta is pretty hardcore with regards to monetization.
Multi-level gacha for drivers, karts and gliders.
Rare drivers have advantages during races.
Stamina system limits races available on an hourly basis.
This is similar to other Nintendo mobile games, allowing players to download the game for free but encouraging in-app purchases to boost gameplay. Players in the beta can't buy anything at this time, however, so it's unclear what exactly will be for purchase when the final game launches.
As Mario Kart Tour gears up for a launch later in the summer, Nintendo has faced some issues for its current mobile titles in Belgium (via The Verge). Due to Belgium's recent laws that categorize video game loot boxes as gambling, Nintendo is shutting down Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes in Belgium effective August 27, 2019.
After that date it will be impossible to play and download these games in the country, and in the future any Nintendo games with similar earnings models will not be released in Belgium. The controversy over loot boxes in gaming has been escalating over the past few years, and given the worldwide success of Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo's decision to shut down the game completely in the country proves how big of an issue this is for Nintendo.
For Mario Kart Tour, the beta will last through June 4 on Android. The final release date for the game on iOS and Android will be sometime this summer.
Nearly four years to the day since Nintendo announced it would be bringing its popular characters to iPhone and iPad, the company is now fearing how app-based microtransactions could be tarnishing its brand. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is going so far as to ask its developer partners to "adjust" its games so that players don't spend too much on in-app purchases.
One Nintendo official reiterated that the company uses its smartphone games to entice players into purchasing full-fledged console titles. Now, according to the unnamed official, Nintendo is concerned that it could be criticized for being greedy in the smartphone gaming market, ultimately hurting the company across divisions.
As for individual games, Nintendo's plan is already affecting certain titles. Dragalia Lost developer CyberAgent slashed its fiscal year earnings forecast for the first time in 17 years, reportedly due in part to the game's underperformance. Although it has a lot of players downloading and interacting with the app, "revenue from each player has fallen short of projections," seemingly tied to Nintendo's new strategy.
“Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” one CyberAgent official said. “If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”
For DeNA, the original smartphone developer partner with Nintendo, the mobile gaming business is said to be in a "slump." Chief Executive Isao Moriyasu reported last month that many of the company's mobile games were struggling except for an original title it created alone called "Megido 72."
Nintendo's smartphone gaming business has definitely seen its ups and downs. The company started with the debut of Miitomo in March 2016, introducing a social game where players could interact with their friends, dress up a custom Mii, and play mini games. After a lukewarm-to-negative reaction from players, Miitomo was shut down two years later in May 2018.
In December 2016, Nintendo debuted Super Mario Run for iOS devices, its first smartphone game with a major IP attached to it, and the first (and as of now only) full-priced Nintendo app. Nintendo returned to free-to-play with Fire Emblem Heroes in February 2017 and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in November 2017.
Over the years, many reports have attempted to dissect the success of each Nintendo app, and the consensus appears to be that Super Mario Run's pay-once structure has paled in comparison to the ongoing success of the free-to-play titles. In particular, Fire Emblem Heroes has been frequently touted as Nintendo's most successful mobile game to date, breaking the $500 million player spending mark on its two year anniversary, despite being based on an IP that's not quite as well known as Mario.
Despite the success of the free-to-play model and the confirmation that the next Nintendo games -- Dr. Mario World and Mario Kart Tour -- will be free-to-play, Nintendo has said that it prefers the payment structure of Super Mario Run to in-app purchases. Shigeru Miyamoto has echoed this week's report in the past, asking the gaming industry to stop "nickel-and-diming" players, and promising that Nintendo will continue pushing for pay-once mobile apps into the future.
Further cementing its status as Nintendo's most successful mobile game to date, Fire Emblem Heroes has officially crossed the half-a-billion-dollar revenue mark, which it hit just after the two-year anniversary of its launch in early February 2017. The game's $500 million in player spending includes players on both iOS and Android (via Sensor Tower).
Fire Emblem Heroes is a free-to-play game that lets players spend real money inside the app once they download it. Most of Nintendo's apps have followed this structure, except Super Mario Run, which requires players to pay $9.99 to see the full game. In total, Fire Emblem Heroes has brought in "more than seven times the revenue" of Super Mario Run, and grossed more than twice the combined earnings of all of Nintendo's other mobile games, according to Sensor Tower.
To date these include Miitomo (now defunct), Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Dragalia Lost. Released just last September, Dragalia Lost has already become Nintendo's second most lucrative mobile game, surpassing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Super Mario Run.
In terms of platforms for Fire Emblem Heroes, players on Google Play/Android accounted for the majority of spending at 54 percent, while the iOS App Store made up 46 percent of player spending. Most players are located in Japan, which accounted for 56 percent of the game's $500 million total, while the United States is the game's second largest market at 31 percent of player spending.
Despite Super Mario Run performing poorly in comparison to the free-to-play games, Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that Nintendo will "continue pushing" for pay-once mobile games over freemium experiences. One senior official at Nintendo called the F2P structure of Fire Emblem Heroes as "an outlier" in the grand scheme of Nintendo's mobile strategy, claiming that Nintendo "prefers" Super Mario Run's payment model.
Despite this, Nintendo's next two mobile game releases will be free-to-play: Mario Kart Tour will launch this summer and Dr. Mario World is set to release later in 2019.
Nintendo today announced that its next iOS and Android release will be Dr. Mario World, an action puzzle game set to be released later in 2019. Nintendo will be partnering with messaging app LINE to develop the new title.
Little detail is available on the new game at this time, but Dr. Mario was a 1990 puzzle game that tasked players with rearranging different colored pills as they fall to clear them off of the game board and eliminate viruses.
The gameplay of the original title was similar to Tetris, and it should translate well to mobile devices.
Nintendo says that Dr. Mario World will be free to play with in-app purchases, with Nintendo aiming to release the game in “early summer 2019” in Japan, the United States, and dozens of other countries.
Dr. Mario World may be Nintendo’s first game of 2019, as its other title, Mario Kart Tour, won’t be coming out until the summer. It was originally scheduled to launch right around March.
Nintendo has released five mobile games thus far, four of which have been free-to-play and three of which have been highly successful. Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Dragalia Lost are current free-to-play titles, while Miitomo, Nintendo’s first mobile game, is now defunct. Nintendo’s only paid app so far has been Super Mario Run.
Out of Nintendo's five mobile games so far, four have followed this model (Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Draglia Lost). Only Super Mario Run has used the pay-once price tier.
Nintendo earned approximately $348 million from its iOS and Android apps in 2018, according to new estimates shared this week by analytics firm Sensor Tower.
Player spending hit a new record of $117 million during the fourth quarter of 2018, a 47 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2017. Overall, Nintendo increased its earnings 15 percent compared to 2017.
Much of the money that Nintendo earned came from Fire Emblem Heroes, its most popular title. Fire Emblem Heroes accounted for approximately 66 percent of Nintendo's 2018 revenue, with more than $230 million spent in the game across the globe.
Since its debut, Fire Emblem Heroes has earned more than $487 million.
Though it is Nintendo's newest game, Dragalia Lost brought in an estimated $58.4 million worldwide, while Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which turned a year old in November, earned Nintendo $48.6 million during 2018.
Nintendo's original mobile game and first paid title, Super Mario Run, brought in just $10 million in 2018, down from $31 million in 2017.
In 2019, Nintendo plans to expand its portfolio of mobile titles with the launch of Mario Kart Tour, set to be released in March. Like Fire Emblem Heroes, Dragalia Lost, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Mario Kart Tour will be free to play and supported through in-app purchases.
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.
In the two weeks following the launch of Dragalia Lost, Nintendo's newest title, the game has earned $16 million in revenue from the iOS App Store and Google Play, according to estimates from app analytics site Sensor Tower.
$13.5 million of the $16 million in revenue has come from Japan and the United States, with the game now ranking third when it comes to revenue earned by Nintendo mobile titles.
During the first two weeks of availability, Fire Emblem Heroes earned $34 million, Super Mario Run earned $15.6 million, and Animal Crossing earned $9.8 million.
Dragalia Lost, unsurprisingly, is performing best in Japan. 69 percent of total revenue has come from Japan, while 16 percent has come from the United States. The remaining 15 percent has come from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.
Dragalia Lost is the 19th most popular iOS app in Japan at the current time, and the number 512th most popular app in Japan. In terms of revenue, it is ranked number 10 in Japan and number 62 in the United States.
Nintendo released Dragalia Lost two weeks ago on Thursday, September 27. The game is an original swipe-based action RPG developed in partnership with Cygames.
Dragalia Lost tasks players with conquering their enemies using powerful attacks and special skills, with players able to control characters who can transform into dragons to unleash their power on enemies.
In addition to battling monsters, players will also need to develop a holy citadel for dragon training. Limited time multiplayer raid battles are available for up to three players online, and an internet connection is required to play.
Like most of Nintendo's recent titles, Dragalia Lost is free to play and supported through in-app purchases.
Dragalia Lost can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]