From the get-go, Nintendo has said that its decision to bring some of its brands to iOS and Android games was ultimately in the hopes that those titles would lure mobile players to Nintendo’s own hardware and, according to current Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, those efforts may be starting to pay off.
In the translated transcript of a Q&A with Nintendo investors, Kimishima notes that Nintendo's smart-device business a driving force behind what one investor described as a “relatively large percentage of Nintendo Switch sales” from countries outside of Japan, the Americas, and Europe when compared to past Nintendo consoles.
Kimishima notes that Nintendo's customer base in Asia and the Middle East in particular is growing thanks to the fact that new players in those areas have been introduced to Nintendo IP first through its smartphone games like Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and are seeking out and purchasing Nintendo Switch systems as a result.
This resonates with comments Nintendo’s incoming president Shuntaro Furukawa made to the Japanese publication Nikkei just recently, explaining that the company is looking forward to bolstering hardware sales in the Middle East and South East Asia and that he envisions Nintendo’s future efforts in mobile as a $900 million business.
Across all regions, the Nintendo Switch has sold 17.79 million units in just over one year, with roughly 15 million of those sales falling during the 2017-2018 fiscal year that concluded March 31. Even with nearly 18 million units sold, Nintendo predicts that the Switch will sell 20 million additional units during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, something it hopes to achieve by appealing to people that may have never played a Nintendo console before.
“In this second year, the initiatives we are planning come from our recognition that we also have to challenge ourselves to delivering Nintendo Switch into the hands of consumers who have never played a Nintendo platform before, and to those [that] have played before, but not recently,” Kimishima explained in the Q&A. “In order to sell more units than we did last fiscal year, the software lineup we have planned is meant to attract people, including those who have not been playing video games recently.”