Nintendo Shutting Down Miitomo, Its First Android App Ever

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Nintendo is shutting down Miitomo, the first Android app in its history which hit the Google Play Store in mid-March 2016. The company announced the decision on Thursday, clarifying that Miitomo's servers will cease operations on May 9th, whereas Miitomo coins are already unavailable for purchase, having last been sold yesterday. People who still use Miitomo on a daily basis in order to play Miitomo Drop will be able to continue doing so for the next three and a half months, with Nintendo deciding to provide them with daily login bonuses in the form of Miitomo coins and game tickets until the service is discontinued.

The decision to shut down the platform was made less than two years after its launch, being indicative of lackluster performance. Despite a strong start that saw it amass a million downloads within three days, Miitomo failed to maintain its momentum; the Japanese entertainment giant last shared its user numbers in late April 2016 when it said the app had been downloaded by 10 million people. To date, Miitomo has up to 50 million downloads on Android alone, according to the estimate presented as part of its Google Play Store listing, though the majority of that figure presumably doesn't pertain to active users. None of the app's features will be usable after Nintendo shuts down its servers this spring, while the items obtained from the app such as wallpapers, posters, and digital clothes will also be lost. The Mii character created within the app can still be transferred to one's Nintendo Account before the service is discontinued but only its appearance can be saved, whereas its general information and personality can't. Sidekick Mii characters can be transferred to the Mii Maker app for the Wii U and 3DS consoles by being saved as QR codes before the end of the service. Miitomo icons, clothing items, and Miifotos won't be viewable or usable following the discontinuation, regardless of whether they were previously shared on social networks or used in Super Mario Run, Nintendo said. The only way to preserve Miifotos is by downloading them to your smartphone or tablet.

Miitomo marked Nintendo's direct entry into the mobile software ecosystem which the company consciously ignored under the leadership of late Satoru Iwata who believed Android and iOS apps and games could devalue the firm's IPs. Following the release of the gamified social network, Nintendo launched Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for mobile devices. The developer-publisher also has a stake in Pokemon GO, a hit AR game made by Niantic Labs which hit the Google Play Store in the summer of 2016. Pokémon Shuffle Mobile, Pokémon Duel, and Pokémon: Magikarp Jump were also developed independently, with a portion of their revenue being awarded to Nintendo due to its partial ownership of The Pokemon Company. The firm is expected to release a mobile game based on The Legend of Zelda franchise later this year after missing its initial 2017 launch window.

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