Nintendo's 1st smartphone game scores over 1m users

GAME ON: A screenshot of Nintendo's first smartphone game Miitomo, a free-to-play interactive game featuring avatars.


    Mar 24, 2016

    Nintendo's 1st smartphone game scores over 1m users


    NINTENDO said on Tuesday that its first smartphone game attracted more than one million users three days after release - good news for the Japanese game giant that was long reluctant to stray from its console-only policy.

    Last week, Nintendo released Miitomo - a free-to-play interactive game which allows users to create "Mii" avatars - as it tries to compete better with rivals.

    Users can customise the avatars' outfit through in-app purchases and interact with characters created by other people or friends.

    The avatars ask players questions such as "What did you do on the weekend?" and "What is your favourite food?" - with the answers shared with other characters.

    The number of users for the game, rolled out in Japan last Thursday, surpassed the one- million mark on Saturday, a spokesman said, adding the company does not have an updated figure.

    The news sent shares in Nintendo soaring 8.18 percent higher to close at 16,515 yen on Tuesday, a day after a national holiday.

    The official Twitter account for the game said on Saturday that the company was surprised that the game had attracted so many players so quickly.

    Nintendo has struggled as Sony and Microsoft outpaced it in console sales.

    The three companies are also fighting off a trend of consumers gravitating towards cheap - even free - downloadable games for smartphones and other mobile devices.

    Kyoto-based Nintendo had been criticised for its longstanding refusal to license some of its iconic brands for use on mobile applications.

    Last year, the holder of the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises announced a strategic tie-up with Tokyo-based mobile gaming company DeNA to develop games for smartphones.

    Nintendo also bought a stake in DeNA as part of a deal to develop smartphone games based on its host of popular characters, possibly including Super Mario and Donkey Kong.

    Miitomo was released only in Japan initially but it will also be rolled out in 15 other countries, including the United States and France, and in eight languages this month.