Nintendo's Miitomo Only Made $3M, Half Of It On Android

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Nintendo's Miitomo app generated only $3 million to date, about half of which is attributed to in-app purchases on Android, mobile market insights firm Apptopia estimates. The gamified social network that Nintendo decided to discontinue earlier this week amassed 20 million downloads on both Android and iOS and presently still boasts around 500,000 of monthly active users, according to the same data. 13 million of Miitomo's lifetime downloads originated from the Google Play Store, with the finding being yet another indication that the average iOS user spends more than their Android peer, which has been an industry-wide consensus for years. Since its launch in March of 2016, Miitomo was more popular on Android than iOS, but that trend was reversed in recent months, with owners of Android devices now accounting for around 200,000 of its remaining monthly active users, Apptopia's data shows.

The findings shed more light on Nintendo's decision to shut down Miitomo less than two years after launching it; the company's total smartphone revenue amounted to over $157 million in Q3 2017, with Miitomo's lifetime performance not reaching two percent of that quarterly figure and contributing an insignificant amount to it in reality. The app is still believed to have been profitable as its development and maintenance costs were likely below the $3 million mark but for an entertainment giant with a market cap of over $53 billion whose mobile gaming business is currently blooming, being up more than 400 percent year-on-year, pulling in low five-digit figures on a monthly basis likely isn't enough to warrant continued development. Apptopia's findings are largely based on binary and API analyses of its SDK data, with the company saying its average margin of error is 20 percent, suggesting Miitomo's actual downloads may be as low as 16 million or as high as 24 million, whereas its revenue could range between $2.4 million and $3.6 million, though none of that changes the main implications of the findings. Miitomo was Nintendo's first in-house attempt to enter the global mobile games market and wasn't categorized as a full-fledged game at all, having instead been designed as a social network with customizable digital avatars. Its in-app store was closed on Wednesday, concluding its revenue-making lifespan, and the service itself will be officially shut down on May 9th, with Nintendo offering extra daily login awards until then as thanks to the remaining players.

The Japanese company released three mobile games over the course of 2017 — the Android port of Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp — and is planning to launch another one based on The Legend of Zelda franchise at some point this year after numerous delays. Nintendo primarily sees the mobile ecosystem as an opportunity to promote its consoles and compatible first-party games while earning some extra revenue. With the Switch being the fastest-selling gaming console in the history of the industry after only 10 months on the market and Nintendo partially attributing that achievement to its mobile strategy, the company is likely to continue pursuing the same approach to Android and iOS games going forward.

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]

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