Nintendo’s first app made exclusively for smart devices, will launch in the UK and Ireland this month
Despite encouraging grannies to shuffleboard in their living rooms through the Wii, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo has a reputation for generally erring on the side of caution.
This month, however, the company will step boldly into new territory with its first free mobile game. The launch of Miitomo, a “free-to-start communication application”, which aims to monetise through in-app purchases, signals that the gaming giant has embraced the freemium business model.
This has become the template for many tech ventures in recent years, having helped nudge free-to-play Candy Crush to its $6bn (£4.2bn) fortune, not to mention fuelling the growth of Spotify and Dropbox.
Available on both iOS and Android phones and tablets, Miitomo uses Nintendo’s Mii characters to engage friends in a lighthearted, playful and welcoming social setting.
Mii characters first debuted on the Wii console and to date, more than 200 million Mii characters have been created around the world.
People who preregister for Miitomo will be among the first to be notified about the availability of Miitomo when it launches.
Nintendo’s new My Nintendo rewards program will also launch alongside Miitomo this month, and will be able to connect with Miitomo.
My Nintendo aims to become much more than a traditional rewards program by rewarding users for interacting with Nintendo products and services in a variety of ways.
Other countries that Miitomo will also launch in other than UK are France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, U.S., Canada.
Including Miitomo, Nintendo plans to release approximately five smart device applications by the end of March 2017.