Nintendo’s 2016 mobile game “Super Mario Run” followed a similar model — the side-scrolling game was free to download but required players to pay for additional levels. At the time the move was met with a mixed reception from gamers, with only a small portion of users opting for the pay-to-play option. The announcement comes on the heels of the Japanese gaming giant’s earnings report, in which it slashed its forecast for sales of the hybrid console Switch. Conversely, the firm also bumped up its guidance for Switch software sales.
Prior to Nintendo’s partnership with Line and NHN Entertainment, the company collaborated with the $4 billion U.S. gaming start-up Niantic on “Pokemon Go,” an augmented reality app based on the Pokemon franchise. Quite notably, Nintendo’s share price got a short-lived boost following the game’s release — despite the fact that it only owned a 32 percent stake in The Pokemon Company — as investors speculated on its potential to be an increasingly significant player in the mobile games market.
Shares of Nintendo fell 9 percent by the close of trade in Tokyo Friday, with market players rattled over the cut in its Switch hardware sales target.
A report claimed that the company was planning on releasing a smaller version of the Switch that prioritizes portability and cuts out some features to reduce the price of the console. If true, the move could help boost the firm’s hardware sales.
Nintendo also dropped news that it would be opening its first official store in Japan. The brick and mortar retail store will be built in a new shopping center in Tokyo, and will showcase the firm’s consoles, game and character-based merchandise.