Nintendo adjusts smartphone games to make players spend less
Nintendo, it seems, is getting in trouble with its smartphone development partners for being nice.
Per sources of the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is concerned about being seen as greedy by consumers, and actively tells its partners – including DeNA and CyberAgent – to adjust games so that players don’t spend too much.
As for why a publicly listed company would try to make less money, a Nintendo employee apparently told WSJ that the company sees smartphone games more as advertising for its core console business than a straight moneymaking opportunity.
This policy seemingly doesn’t go down too well with some of those partners. Dragalia Lost developer CyberAgent was asked to change the game’s odds of earning rare characters following player complaints.
“Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” a CyberAgent employee told WSJ. “If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”
CyberAgent recently cut its earnings forecast for the first time in 17 years due to unexpectedly low revenue-per-player in Dragalia Lost.
This isn’t to say Nintendo isn’t interested in building its mobile presence. Company president Shuntaro Furukawa explained last year that he’d like to expand the company’s smartphone portfolio to create a 100 billion yen ($910 million USD) business.
As for what’s on the slate, Mario Kart Tour will be released this summer, while there’s also a rumoured Zelda mobile game, and the possibility of a playable Game Boy phone case (and presumably the games to go with it).