Nintendo does not want you spending too much of your money paying for stuff from its mobile games.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company does not want to be seen as greedy and has urged its partners to adjust microtransactions so players don't fork out too much cash on items available in games.
It would appear that the video game giant is rubbing its partners the wrong way by being too nice. But it seems to be taking the brand over everything approach and has told the WSJ that it views its mobile games more as a source of advertising for its console business than a moneymaking opportunity. In essence, Nintendo wants to expose its characters to smartphone users in the hopes that they will consider buying a console instead of just charging them to play.
It's also reported that the policy hasn't exactly made some of the partners happy. Dragalia Lost developer CyberAgent didn't seem pleased after being asked to alter the game's odds of earning rare characters in the wake of complaints from players.
CyberAgent slashed its fiscal earnings forecast in January for the first time in 17 years partly due to the game's poor performance. An aggressive advertising campaign has since prompted a rise in player numbers, however, revenue per player has not met expectations.
“Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” a CyberAgent official explained. “If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”
Following the game's release in September of last year, various players complained about how hard it was to score rare characters during in-game lotteries. That resulted in CyberAgent getting asked to get a fix on this to prevent players from spending excessively.
Meanwhile, creators of Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing, DeNA, have also seen a drop in earnings. The company claims that the only one of its smartphone games not struggling is Megido 72, a game it developed on its own - specifically without Nintendo.
“We discuss various things, not just limited to payments, to deliver high-quality fun to consumers,” a Nintendo spokesman says.
The Kyoto-based company has set an annual goal of just $895 million for their mobile gaming business. Other popular smartphone games, such as Sony's Fate/Grand Order, make more than that all on their own.