Nintendo just doesn’t seem as bothered about its mobile games anymore

Nintendo once had bold plans to quickly branch out into a raft of mobile game releases – but no more. When it launched its first app, Miitomo, back in 2016, Nintendo’s then-boss Tatsumi Kimishima said four more smartphone games would debut in the following 12 months.

In reality, Nintendo took several years to hit that milestone, and in the years since has shuttered several of them. Just one new Nintendo mobile game has launched in the last two years: Pikmin Bloom, developed by Pokémon Go maker Niantic.

This week, as Dragalia Lost joined Dr. Mario World and Miitomo on Nintendo’s shutdown game scrap pile, the publisher offered a brief update on the continued importance it places on its smartphone efforts.

“While we feel the importance of generating revenue and profit through our mobile business, our basic strategy with the business is to expand the number of people who have access to Nintendo [intellectual property],” a spokesperson for the company told Axios.

This was especially true for countries where Nintendo Switch isn’t regularly available, the company continued.

Why has Nintendo’s smartphone output slowed to a dribble? Nintendo did not address its lack of launches, but it seems like the success of Nintendo Switch has likely eased the pressure on Nintendo embrace the mobile gaming market as an alternative – calls for which grew increasingly loud during the company’s barren Wii U console years.

So, what does the future hold for Nintendo’s mobile game output?

“We are focusing on delivering great experiences for our current mobile games through continued updates and improvements while also considering new applications for the future,” Nintendo said.

Miitomo, Nintendo’s initial smartphone effort, shut down in May 2018 after two years. Dr. Mario World was similarly killed off, two years after its 2019 launch.

The gacha-powered Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Mario Kart Tour remain online, and appear to generate a decent chunk of change.

Super Mario Run, the company’s flagship mobile launch from back in 2016, also remains available.