‘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 Celebrating Mario Day With 50% Price Drop on ‘Super Mario Run’ in iOS App Store

This Saturday, March 10 is "Mario Day," a day when Nintendo celebrates its mascot Mario "and his many awesome fans" around the world. Although the full plan for the company's celebrations on Saturday have not yet been revealed, one part has and it focuses on the iPhone and Android game Super Mario Run (via TouchArcade).

On March 10, Nintendo will discount Super Mario Run's $9.99 in-app purchase that unlocks the full game down to $4.99, and that 50 percent discount will run for two weeks, through March 25. Nintendo has created a detailed table that shows the special discount price of Super Mario Run on the App Store and Google Play Store in every country of availability, which you can see on its website.


The last IAP discount for Super Mario Run came in September 2017, alongside what Nintendo called the "biggest update ever," introducing a new gameplay mode called Remix 10, new character Princess Daisy, new world, and more. It's unclear if the game will be getting more content this weekend, like it did last September, alongside the price drop.

For Mario Day last year, Nintendo celebrated in a variety of ways, including working with nonprofit Starlight Children's Foundation to provide hospitalized children with brightly colored hospital gowns featuring the company's well-known characters. There were also Mario-themed frames on Facebook, games on sale across Nintendo console platforms, and major events at PAX East in Boston and the Kids' Choice Awards on Nickelodeon.

You can download and play the first few levels of Super Mario Run for free on the iOS App Store [Direct Link], and the discounted $4.99 in-app purchase should begin appearing on Saturday.


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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 Says Super Mario Run Has Yet to Reach ‘Acceptable Profit Point’ Nearly One Year After Launch

Nintendo yesterday held its quarterly earnings report [PDF], launching off with details of its "Smart-Device Business" and telling investors how things have been going for Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, while detailing the upcoming launch of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Although Fire Emblem Heroes is on track to meet the company's "overall profit objectives," Super Mario Run appears to be a disappointment in the iOS App Store for Nintendo, which stated it has "not yet reached an acceptable profit point" for the game (via The Verge).

The difference between the two apps lies in their payment structure, with Fire Emblem Heroes a free-to-download title with micro-transactions, and Super Mario Run priced at a fixed $9.99. The company noted that Super Mario Run has now hit the 200 million download mark, and Nintendo was even able to launch the app in countries "not previously reached by our dedicated video game platform business."


Unfortunately, after about 10 months on mobile devices Super Mario Run still has not made the amount of money that Nintendo predicted for the title, which was its first foray into a mobile app built around one-time payments. Still, the company said that it has "learned a lot in terms of game development and deployment," which it plans to "take advantage of moving forward."
Although we have not yet reached an acceptable profit point, we have learned a lot in terms of game development and deployment that we want to take advantage of moving forward.
For Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo said that it "listened to the voices of our consumers," leading to continual updates to the app since its launch in February. This game is on track to meet Nintendo's business and profit objectives, and new in-game events will be added soon, as well as Traditional Chinese text. The game will then expand to five more countries and regions: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, Thailand, and Singapore.

Nintendo's newest iOS game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will follow in the footsteps of Fire Emblem Heroes, bringing in-app purchases to the free-to-download game in the form of Leaf Tickets. For the mobile version of Animal Crossing, Nintendo said that "our objective is to offer a service that allows even consumers who do not normally play games on a regular basis to have a little fun each and every day."

Nintendo's first iPhone game, Miitomo, also uses a free-to-download payment structure with in-app purchases, but the company made no mention of that game in its newest earnings report.

Earlier in the year, a senior official at Nintendo reportedly told Nikkei that the company prefers the pay-once strategy of Super Mario Run, and called the freemium aspects of Fire Emblem Heroes an "outlier" in the grand scheme of its mobile gaming plan. Even then, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima -- who presented this week's earnings report -- admitted that Super Mario Run "did not meet" the company's revenue expectations.

To entice old players to return and new players to download, Nintendo updated Super Mario Run in September with a new mode, new characters, and a 50 percent price drop. Nintendo's earnings report charts are vague, but the company noted an uptick in weekly users thanks to this September update. Prior to that, its weekly users had been dropping precipitously since April.

Ultimately, Nintendo still aims for Super Mario Run to be the "definitive Mario application for smart devices," so players can likely expect ongoing updates to the app in the future.


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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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Super Mario Run’s ‘Biggest Update Ever’ Arrives on the iOS App Store One Day Early

Super Mario Run's "biggest update ever" has arrived one day early, with many players noticing the version 3.0.4 update is available to download as of this morning. One of the biggest new additions is "Remix 10," which lets players run through 10 super-short courses in a row to try to find and add Daisy -- the new playable character -- to their roster.


There's also new full-size courses in the game, inhabiting "World Star," including a forest, a ship, and an airship armada. New customization items can be earned from playing Remix 10, and the game has been tweaked so that Toad Rally won't pit you against players whose Toad population is "significantly different" from your own.

Nintendo has also added a subtle visual detail, giving Mario and his playable friends a pair of headphones any time you listen to your own music while playing the game. With the new update, Super Mario Run [Direct Link] is 50 percent off its full price of $9.99 from today until October 12, meaning you can unlock all six worlds for $4.99.

The game is still free-to-start and lets you play the first world for free, with the in-app purchase unlocking the rest of the game's content. If you're looking for more iOS apps and games on sale, be sure to check out our Deals Roundup where we've listed some of the latest discounts happening now on the App Store.


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Super Mario Run to Get ‘Biggest Update Ever’ and 50% Price Drop on Friday

Super Mario Run will receive its "biggest update ever" later this week, according to a sneak peek shared on the App Store this weekend.


A new gameplay mode called Remix 10 will include a set of 10 super-short sections from Super Mario Run's existing levels in quick succession. The stages are remixed with each attempt, with rainbow-colored bonus medals throughout.
Remix 10 has no Game Over screen, and even if you fail to complete a level, you'll just proceed to the next one without any penalty. This means new players can familiarize themselves with a variety of different levels easily and experts can attempt to collect every bonus medal for a perfect rating.
Finishing stages and collecting medals in Remix 10 mode gives players the chance to collect new items to decorate their Mushroom Kingdom, and eventually rescue the newly added character Princess Daisy.

Once rescued, Princess Daisy can be used as a playable character in all of Super Mario Run's other gameplay modes.
Daisy's special ability is to perform a double jump, opening up a brand new way to beat the stages you find trickiest, collect the coveted black coins, or race against other players in Toad Rally.
Super Mario Run will gain a brand new world called World Star, which has nine new levels that are unlocked once players have finished all of the existing stages in the six worlds of the World Tour.
These new levels are filled with new enemies, gameplay mechanics, and of course include pink, purple, and black coin-collecting challenges. Nintendo is promising surprises for even the most seasoned Super Mario Run players in this one.
The update will also allow Super Mario Run to be played while listening to any music in the background, rather than the game soundtrack only.

The update will be available on the App Store [Direct Link] on Friday, September 29, and on the same day, the $9.99 in-app purchase that unlocks the full game will be offered at "around 50% off" for a limited time.

About the Game


Super Mario Run is a runner designed for one-handed gameplay. Mario runs forward automatically as players tap to jump, collect coins, pounce on Goombas, avoid obstacles, and reach the flagpole at the end of each course before the timer runs out. In the end, Mario must rescue Princess Peach from the infamous Bowser.

(Thanks, Jesse L.!)


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