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Ahead of ‘Animal Crossing Pocket Camp’ Release, Nintendo Has Reiterated Its Smartphone Gaming Strategy

It’s safe to say that the last week has been pretty incredible for everyone at Nintendo, as it seems the Japanese gaming giant has perpetually dominated industry news in some extremely encouraging ways. Whether it’s the sudden announcement and subsequent soft-launch of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp on mobile devices, or the groundbreaking release of the ridiculously enjoyable Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch, it’s been a good week for anyone associated with Nintendo, and today’s sales announcement in the Wall Street Journal confirms that it’s only set to get better for the gaming behemoth. As well as raising their forecasts for the Switch over the coming months – which includes predicting 16.7 million units to be sold by March – Nintendo has also reiterated its approach to mobile games development, with CEO Tatsumi Kimishima stating that ‘the top priority for us when we release smartphone games is to lure more new users to the Switch’.

For avid readers of TouchArcade, this statement won’t come as a surprise. Nintendo have been incredibly forthright in the rationale behind their mobile releases, and games like Pokemon GO (Free) have directly resulted in huge sales for their console equivalents. Such a statement can also provide an explanation as to the relatively modest financial success of Super Mario Run (Free) – rather than focus on directly generating revenue, these mobile experiences are intentionally meant to direct more casual users to Nintendo’s dedicated hardware. Of course, the later free-to-play model and success of Fire Emblem Heroes (Free) – and what will inevitably be the literally money-printing worldwide release of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp – suggest Nintendo is focusing on a slightly more mobile-oriented monetisation model for smartphone games. However, while their App Store efforts are so fun to play, and while the Switch is still selling out everywhere you look, Nintendo will likely happily continue to release streamlined versions of their titles on mobile.

While these soundbites aren’t exactly breaking news, it’s interesting to hear Nintendo reiterate that their approach to mobile game development hasn’t changed, even after they have achieved some astonishing success on the platform. This doesn’t mean that we’ll never see, for example, a serious Zelda title on the App Store at some point in the future – even if such a development is incredibly unlikely – but it does explain a lot about the approach the company has made in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, at the very least. After adoring every second of Super Mario Odyssey and my first few hours of their latest Animal Crossing release, I’m happy enough to put my faith in Nintendo to release quality titles on any platform, regardless of scope, intent or rationale.

[via WSJ]