NINTENDO CO. has made its biggest move in mobile gaming so far with plans to add Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp as its third smartphone title.
The game will be available on both Apple Inc.’s iOS and Android from late November and is the first smartphone iteration of a popular series about anthropomorphic animals. It will be free to download but allow in-game purchases to speed up progress, a key to making money from such titles.
Analysts have high expectations for the new game, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimating an Animal Crossing title could generate twice as much revenue as the combined sales of Nintendo’s two previous smartphone games – Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes.
In the June quarter, Nintendo reaped 9.1 billion yen ($79 million) from its smartphone business. The company is due to report earnings for the September quarter on Monday.
“The IP is often underestimated, but chances are Animal Crossing on mobile can become a big hit,” said Serkan Toto, founder of consultant Kantan Games Inc. “The game seems to offer high production value, mobile-optimized gameplay, and depth to make sure people keep coming back over and over.”
Shares of Nintendo rose 0.10% to 44,140 yen at the close of trade in Tokyo after earlier gaining as much as 2.7%. The stock has surged 80% this year and its market value has swelled to about $55 billion.