Nintendo today announced that its first original title for mobile devices will be Miitomo. The free-to-play title will allow users to create a Mii avatar and share common interests with other players. Miitomo will launch in March 2016, and it will include optional IAPs.
The video game maker announced the news during an investor briefing on Thursday morning. Investors and Nintendo fans were disappointed with the news that Nintendo decided to launch an unknown social networking app, instead of a video game starring one of its more popular characters, such as Mario. Shares of Nintendo dropped 9% after the briefing.
The briefing wasn't all bad news, Nintendo also announced it plans to release at least five more mobile titles in 2016, some of which will be premium, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ also noted that Nintendo's mobile gaming partner DeNA "will focus on operation of the games," and that the company is "saving its most famous character, Mario the plumber, and others for a later date." Analysts believe Nintendo did not want to risk launching a Mario game on an untested mobile platform right out of the gate.
Nintendo has said from the start that it plans to use smart devices to push its IP, which the company hopes will help boost sales of its hardware.
Nintendo did not reveal any big details about its next-generation console codenamed the NX.
"We are going to be far more aggressive in using our IP, and not just stop with licensing, as in the past," said Senior Managing Director Shigeru Miyamoto. "The first example is amiibo. We want our IP to better reach more children, and smart devices is just one vehicle.”