Before Miitomo: Nintendo’s Road to Mobile Apps
Nintendo is a fairly old company, it does not matter if we consider its real founding date in 1889 or if we choose to reduce video games to the lowest common denominator and point to the defining year 1985. Since Super Mario Bros. to the present, Nintendo It has always been a company that has always sought to innovate and that has managed to resist the market stakes that beat other historical rivals such as Sega. Despite the entry of Sony and its PlayStation and despite the changes introduced in the market by Microsoft and its Xbox, the Japanese company maintains its place, leading some generations and falling out of favor in others.
On the other hand, and although on the part of Nintendo It is true that an innovative role can be highlighted, it is no less true that they can be closed to new paths. Desktop consoles and portable consoles: these are its two strengths. But when it comes to allowing fan-made games or the creation of mobile applications, their mindset is (or was) not to consider any of those paths as valid.
After the sales success that was the Nintendo Wii, it was sought to continue the trend with the launch of Wii U in the year 2012. However, Nintendo was unable to find the key, and saw how Playstation 4 and Xbox One they surpassed it. While Sony and Microsoft see their video game department as one more, for Nintendo it is their main source of profit. And a failing console automatically means that shareholders will not be concrete. There were two solutions for this: the first is called Nintendo switch, which is already a true bestseller and in a single year it has already sold practically more than Wii U in its entire life. The second solution was to open up to new markets, and this included that of mobile phones.
From Miitomo to Today: Pokémon Go, Super Mario Run and Other Projects
Back in the days of the NES and Super NES, Nintendo viewed third-partys They published games on their consoles, in part because they were the best-selling and in part because there were almost no alternatives. However, the passage of time changed the trend and today Sony and Microsoft receive the most support, which has left Nintendo with the need to always promote their own franchises and intellectual properties. Although this has had negative aspects, facing its entry into the world of smartphones it was really positive. Super Mario, Zelda, Pokémon… Nintendo franchises have enormous potential and were opening up new avenues to explore.
In the year 2015, Nintendo officially announced that it would develop mobile applications, although that has not prevented the appearance of emulators to play Nintendo games on Android. At the end of that year it was confirmed that Miitomo it would be the first to be launched for the main platforms, something that ended up happening throughout March 2016, in a staggered launch by territories. Miitomo was a social app that used the Mii – virtual characters based on each player – to connect people. It was not the great game nor was it a bombshell, but it was above all a beginning.
From there, the rest is written practically alone. Beside Niantic, it developed Pokemon go, one of the biggest successes in mobile video games that is still very active today, a free-to-play that continues to receive news and causing a whole phenomenon. The mascot of Nintendo he also had his chance with Super Mario Run, a pay game which was not as well received, but it was a historical iteration of the character outside of a Nintendo platform. The experience also helped Nintendo begin to be clearer about how to monetize these apps. They followed Fire emblem heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, two other sagas with a lot of punch on Nintendo laptops.
In full 2018Talking about Nintendo launching applications is no longer the same as in 2016. The Japanese company has made a bet without pause but without haste, that although it has had some setbacks, it is working. Accompanied by the success that Nintendo Switch has had during 2017, they can be considered recovered from the bump that Wii U supposed on many levels. And one of those first steps in recovering Nintendo it was called Miitomo.
Nintendo closes Miitomo in May 2018
Miitomo will forever be remembered as the first mobile game by Nintendo, a very important historical position, as we have already said. However, it was not a great game, it was not a bombshell and it has already fulfilled its mission. Nintendo closes Miitomo in May 2018, ending their journey. As of May 9, when the app is launched, a message will appear warning of the closure of the service and its functions will not be able to be used. You will be able to save your characters for use on consoles by syncing them with your Nintendo Account, but Miitomo will not offer more content.
Thus closes a first stage of Nintendo and mobile applications. Not many people will miss Miitomo as a game, since the main cause of a social game dying is that there is no community to connect. Meanwhile, the rest of the games continue their course, they still represent a source of income and they do not look to end their service for a long time. Miitomo dies, but Nintendo continues.