Nintendo’s foray into the crowded mobile game market has not been a smooth one. The proof is in Dr. Mario World, a puzzle game that failed to find its audience.
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Released two years ago, Dr. Mario World was Nintendo’s first mobile game. At the time, armed with some of its prestigious licenses, the Japanese giant was launching an offensive in the hyper-competitive smartphone video game market. The title was soon joined by Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run. Nintendo tested several business models, with free games relying on in-app purchases to boost their revenues, or paid titles giving access to all their content.
Clearly, Dr. Mario World has had more than mixed results. Unlike Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo’s most popular and revenue-generating game, or Super Mario Run, which performed disappointingly but consistently well, Dr. Mario World failed to find its audience. Yet the Japanese company had put its know-how to work to turn its flagship Tetris like from the NES and Game Boy era into a cash machine on Android and iOS, with successes such as Candy Crush Saga in its sights.
So, without much surprise, we learn today that Dr. Mario World will go offline on November 1. In other news, the in-app currency (diamonds) is no longer available. Players who still have diamonds in their virtual wallets only have a few months to spend them in the game before they are no longer available.
Marginal mobile games at Nintendo
With varying fortunes, Nintendo’s mobile experiences remain marginal for the console maker and publisher. If its financial disclosures are to be believed, its mobile games and licenses sold in this area accounted for just over 3% of its revenue in 2020, with almost all of the company’s revenue generated by the Switch, The Verge recalls.