Mario Kart Tour alone led to a massive increase in Nintendo Account signups, bringing the total number of users to over 200 million.
This is just one of the numbers included in Nintendo’s recent corporate management policy briefing, in which the platform owner explained to analysts and investors how it is expanding its audience.
The Nintendo Account program was launched in 2015 to allow the company to connect with users across multiple platforms. As of September 2020, there were over 200 million registered accounts worldwide.
A graph in the presentation shows that the launch of Mario Kart Tour – which requires a Nintendo Account to play – has been more effective than the Switch’s debut in getting people to sign up.
However, Nintendo chairman Shuntaro Furukawa said that this user base “has also grown steadily alongside the growing install base.”
Mario Kart Tour is one of seven mobile games that the platform owner has released so far, with Nintendo reporting that since the first release – Miitomo in 2016 – these games have racked up 650 million unique downloads combined in 164 country.
Furukawa believes this has also contributed to the growth of the Switch, as mobile gamers develop an interest in a Nintendo-owned IP such as Animal Crossing and purchase the console for a deeper experience. It’s undoubtedly a factor in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s ââcontinued success as the best-selling Switch title.
The company also offered an update on its other service, Nintendo Switch Online, which now has more than 26 million members.
Another graphic from the presentation shows that this year’s launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons sparked the biggest spike in new subscribers, surpassing the performance of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and PokÃ©mon Sword and Shield.
Furukawa has spent time talking about the evolution of how Nintendo has grown its audience.
From 2000 to 2010, the company focused on expanding the overall gaming population through devices like DS and Wii, as well as games like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Brain Training. The result was that these new customers developed an interest in more games, hence the huge success of titles such as Mario Kart Wii.
Over the past ten years, the platform owner has further increased the number of people with access to Nintendo’s IP. Rather than relying primarily on its own devices, the company began to invest more in merchandise, the aforementioned mobile games, the upcoming Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, and partnerships with producers of other forms of visual entertainment. .
Most notable of these is the deal with Minions creator Illumination Entertainment to make a Mario movie, which is set to debut in 2022. But Furukawa has hinted that this will only be the start of the appearance. Nintendo characters in movies and more.
âGoing forward, initiatives to expand visual content may not be limited to film,â he said. “The extent of our investments will vary depending on the type of project, but we will continue to invest in these entertainment expansion initiatives to increase the number of people with access to our intellectual property.”
Discussing the company’s future prospects, Furukawa said there would be more investment in merchandise following the enthusiasm for products such as Lego Mario and innovative technologies, such as the Switch, the first home console that lets users continue gaming on the go as a laptop.
There was a vague allusion to Nintendo’s upcoming system on a slide, with the president of the company simply stating that Nintendo “still plans to expand its business around creating unique integrated hardware and software products.”
Nintendo Account usage will continue on the next console, as will other value-added services, presumably including a Nintendo Switch Online variant.
Finally, Furukawa tempered expectations that digital sales will become the biggest part of Nintendo’s business in the future.
As the platform owner’s most recent financial results show, downloadable games accounted for 50.3% of all sales at the end of June 2020. However, Furukawa notes that the percentage of digital sales has stabilized at pre-pandemic levels since physical retailers began to re-open in some markets around the world.
“Therefore, we do not expect the digital sales increase seen in the first quarter of this fiscal year to continue,” he said.
âWe see half of our consumers buying physical versions of our games, even when many of them around the world are staying at home. So while digital versions provide several benefits to consumers, as a company that emphasizes unique combinations of software and accessories such as like Nintendo Labo and Ring Fit Adventure, convert our business into 100 % digital is not our ultimate goal. “