Nintendo is shutting down its Dr. Mario mobile game
Nintendo has announced that Dr. Mario World, a mobile take on the puzzle game series, will go out of service on November 1st, with sales of its in-app “diamond” currency ending today. The game was launched a little over two years ago, and is the first of Nintendo’s mobile games to be shut down, unless you count the Mii-themed social network Miitomo.
According to data from SensorTower collected around six months after its launch, Dr. Mario World was by far the worst performing Nintendo smartphone game in terms of revenue performance. That includes Super Mario Run, whose disappointing sales prompted Nintendo to pursue freemium models in the first place. Fire Emblem Heroes remains the company’s biggest mobile hit by a huge distance, generating more revenue than its other games combined.
Nintendo did go out of its way to make Dr. Mario World a potential monetization machine rather than a direct translation of the NES-era gameplay, but ultimately it seems like not enough players got hooked for it to be worth continually operating. Mobile games still account for a tiny portion of Nintendo’s overall earnings; last year the company attributed just 3.24 percent of its revenue to “mobile and IP related income,” which includes licensing deals. Almost everything else comes from the Switch.