Nintendo Attributes Recent Business Growth To Pokemon

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Nintendo President, Tatsumi Kimishima, attributed the company's recent business growth to Pokemon. On Wednesday, Kimishima said that Nintendo's long-term strategy still revolves around bringing its intellectual properties to a larger number of people. His comments refer to the company's increasing focus on mobile as Nintendo did release several successful mobile games over the course of 2016. The company's flagship product in this segment was Pokemon GO, which has since been followed by Super Mario Run. Although that has yet to be ported over to Android.

The Kyoto-based entertainment company shipped close to 15 million units of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, its latest pair of RPGs for the 3DS portable console, and Kimishima partially attributed that success to Pokemon GO. Nintendo President believes that the Niantic Labs-made augmented reality (AR) game helped return the Pokemon franchise to the spotlight and drive sales of related 3DS games. Approximately 17-percent of people who bought Pokemon Sun or Pokemon Moon had never experienced a 3DS Pokemon game before, the Japanese company revealed – pointing to Pokemon GO as one of the reasons for that success. Pokemon GO itself generated over $1 billion in revenue since the game started rolling out in July. The popular AR mobile game also reportedly boosted 3DS hardware sales which experienced a year-on-year growth during the third quarter of Nintendo's current fiscal year after declining during the previous two periods. Nintendo believes that as more consumers got exposed to Pokemon GO, more of them developed a need to play a more in-depth Pokemon game and decided to purchase the 3DS to do it.

While this level of success is certainly impressive, it remains to be seen whether Nintendo can emulate it with its other franchises, especially those that aren't as popular as Pokemon and Mario. The Kyoto-based entertainment giant is launching Fire Emblem Heroes tomorrow, three months before Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia releases for the 3DS. This gap between the launch of a mobile spinoff and the next entry in the main series is similar to the one that existed between Pokemon GO and the latest pair of 3DS Pokemon RPGs, so it's likely that Nintendo already has a well-defined release strategy designed with synergy in mind.

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