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Nintendo mobile games earn $1 billion, with Fire Emblem Heroes leading the way

Nintendo’s mobile games, not including Pokémon GO which had its best year ever in 2019, have collectively reached the milestone of $1 billion in revenue, led by 2017’s Fire Emblem Heroes.

Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence data revealed that Nintendo’s mobile games have broken through the $1 billion milestone from global player spending across Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, with a total of 452 million downloads across the world.

According to Sensor Tower, majority of Nintendo’s earnings from its mobile games is from Fire Emblem Heroes. The strategy RPG has taken advantage of the gacha system, in which players spend in-game items that may be purchased with real-world money to randomly acquire characters, to rake in $656 million. This is equivalent to 61% of Nintendo’s mobile revenue, and more than the earnings of all other Nintendo mobile games combined.

In a distant second place is Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, with earnings of $131 million, followed by Dragalia Lost with $123 million. Mario Kart Tour, which holds the title as Nintendo’s biggest mobile launch in its first week, is only in fourth place with $86 million.

In fifth place is Super Mario Run with revenue of $76 million. The monetization model of the game is different though — unlike Fire Emblem Heroes, which offers a constant stream of revenue as players spend to improve their chances of acquiring certain characters, the first few levels of Super Mario Run are free, but then requires a one-time payment of $10 to unlock the remaining features.

Interestingly, while Super Mario Run is only in fifth place in revenue, it holds the distinction as the most downloaded Nintendo mobile game at 244 million installations, or 54% of Nintendo’s total downloads, followed by Mario Kart Tour at 147 million downloads, or 32%. Fire Emblem Heroes, meanwhile, only takes up 4%, but with an average revenue-per-download of $41, according to Sensor Tower.

Nintendo ventured into mobile games as an additional source of revenue for the company, which has struck gold with the Nintendo Switch as the hybrid console just surpassed sales of 50 million units. Nintendo is also entering the theme park industry with Super Nintendo World, which is opening this summer at Universal Studios Osaka but will also rise in Universal Studios Orlando’s Epic Universe.

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Aaron Mamiit
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