Nintendo Doubling Down On Android Games After Major Successes

Nintendo is looking to double down on Android and iOS games after achieving major successes with its early mobile experiments, the head of the company's American arm Reggie Fils-Aimé said in a recent E3 interview with Forbes. "Our mobile business is doing quite well," the executive acknowledged, having highlighted Fire Emblem Heroes as the company's most profitable title to date. While Pokemon Go's peak was much higher, the 2016 AR game was developed by Niantic Labs and Nintendo got a smaller cut of its profits than Google and Apple did, whereas Fire Emblem Heroes is largely an in-house project created in collaboration with Japanese entertainment giant DeNA.

Mr. Fils-Aimé believes the value of Pokemon Go came not just from a cut of in-app purchases but the fact that the game drove more people to the company's dedicated gaming systems; in the summer of 2016, those were 3DS and 2DS, with the firm now hoping players seeking a slightly more in-depth experience will be able to get it later this year with Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee!, both of which are scheduled to be released as Nintendo Switch exclusives on November 16. The Nintendo of America President also sees Fire Emblem Heroes as continuing its strong performance and driving the sales of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, another Switch exclusive planned for a spring 2019 release.

In the meantime, the two Pokemon spin-offs for the Switch should allow players to "transition" from Nintendo's mobile offerings to more in-depth console experiences, Mr. Fils-Aimé said. The Japanese gaming juggernaut's new head of global operations already said he's keen to invest in Android games more aggressively moving forward, with the company's next two mobile releases being expected to come in the form of anime JRPG Dragalia Lost and Mario Kart Tour, both of which have been announced earlier this year.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. 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]