How does Nintendo’s mobile gaming experiment look after Animal Crossing?

No, an official Zelda game for iPhone doesn't exist yet. But with the Switch selling so well, should Nintendo even bother? (credit: Photo illustration by Aurich Lawson)

When Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp launched on iOS a few weeks ago, our own Sam Machkovech took it to task for its "hurry up and wait" gameplay loop and in-your-face, hard-sell microtransactions. Now, data from app analysis firm Sensor Tower suggests the game is struggling to bring in much money from players, even after attracting more than 15 million downloads in six days.

In a recent blog post, Sensor Tower estimates that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has brought in about $10 million in revenue in its first nine days of iOS availability. That might sound like a pretty good start for the game, but it pales in comparison to the $24 million in revenue for Super Mario Run and $33 million for Fire Emblem Heroes in the same time frame after their launches.

Perhaps more worrisome for Animal Crossing's mobile potential, a whopping 86 percent of the estimated revenue so far comes from Japan, with a further 11 percent coming from the US, according to Sensor Tower. That suggests a game with a decent domestic following for Nintendo, but one that seems unlikely to break out into a Pokemon Go-style international hit.

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