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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