After years of staying away from the mobile games market, the early success of Super Mario Run this month has finally convinced Nintendo they need to be more aggressive in launching smartphone and tablet games. In a new interview, the company’s president Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed that Nintendo will launch between two to three new mobile games a year, starting in 2017.
Chatting with Japanese media outlet Kyoto NP, Kimishima now says that the mobile gaming market could become one of Nintendo primary business divisions. He stated that mobile games could reach many new fans and generate more revenue for the company. He even suggested those games could be used as a way to promote the upcoming Nintendo Switch console, which is due to launch in March 2017.
Super Mario Run launched for iOS on December 15, and Nintendo confirmed it has already been downloaded 50 million times worldwide. Kimishima expects that the game will hit the 100 million download milestone. The game is supposed to be launched for Android devices at some point in 2017 but so far, the company has yet to offer a specific release date. Nintendo also has not revealed how many people have decided to pay the $9.99 price to unlock all of Super Mario Run’s content, although analyst estimates put that number somewhere between four and nine percent.
Nintendo has already revealed that two of its upcoming mobile games will be based on Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem. While these franchises are well known to hardcore fans of the company, they are not as well known to the general public as the Mario series. It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be to those titles and if they will come close to Super Mario Run’s initial download numbers.