Tenerife, St Tropez, Barcelona - wherever it is that you’re heading this summer, Nintendo has major plans for you. And spoiler alert, these plans involve a pudgy Italian-American plumber...
Mario Kart is finally coming to your phone and tablet this summer, meaning that you’ll be slipstreaming and turbo drifting from the comfort of your beach lounger. Also to be released this summer by Nintendo and LINE is Dr. Mario World, a puzzle game that tasks players with connecting different coloured pills - similar to Tetris or Bejewelled.
In recent years, the mobile gaming sector has become a source of great interest for Nintendo. The company’s president, Shuntaro Furukawa, recently declared in an interview the importance of pushing deeper into smartphone gaming to meet the demands of modern gamers.
So far, the company’s approach to smartphone gaming has been to custom-build its franchises for the platform rather than force console games onto a mobile device.
Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s first stab at a mobile game to feature Mario, was crafted specifically for smartphones. Debuted in December 2016 and available in over 150 countries worldwide, the game is still pretty popular with around 4 million downloads a month in 2018.
Our data shows that this February, downloads for Super Mario Run exceeded 3 million on iOS and Android devices, with users in the US, Japan and Germany generating the most revenue from in-app purchases.
However, Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes is the smartphone game which has made the most money for the company. In February alone, it raked in approximately $8 million. Animal Crossing, another Nintendo smartphone game renowned for reaching an audience which is more than 75 per cent female, has also been a success, generating revenues of over $2 million last month.
Exact details of Mario Kart Tour have not yet been released, but we believe the game has all the credentials to be a success worthy of Candy Crush, Fortnite and Clash of Clans - the most popular mobile games played by millions around the world.
Initially released on the SNES in 1992, the original Super Mario Kart was an instant hit. However, it was the revamped and re-released edition for N64 in 1996 that cemented Mario’s place in history as one of the all-time classic console games. After nearly 10 million copies flew off the shelves, Mario Kart 64 became N64’s second highest selling game ever - surpassed only by Super Mario 64.
There is slightly more information available on the upcoming Dr. Mario World game. Nintendo and LINE have confirmed that the game will be available in 60 countries and support a number of different languages other than just English and Japanese. Further, while the game will be free to download, it will contain in-app purchases.
With the Mario brand, Nintendo has achieved the rare feat of creating an iconic cultural phenomenon that bridges generations. Having entertained millions of arcade and console fans over the past thirty years, we are very keen to see what Nintendo can achieve now that it is finally becoming serious about smartphone gaming.