Niantic Labs  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Niantic Labs  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network What Went Wrong with Super Mario Run? Fri, 07 Apr 2017 08:00:02 -0400 tofuslayer

Nintendo fans everywhere anxiously awaited the release of the Super Mario Run mobile phone game after the huge success of the Pokémon GO! game almost a year ago. Since Niantic Labs was the company that developed Pokémon GO!, Super Mario Run would be the first mobile phone game created solely by the Japanese gaming company. Nintendo has had a lock on the handheld gaming scene since the advent of the GameBoy, so it seemed only natural that they would enter the mobile gaming scene eventually. However, it seems that for many hopeful gamers, Super Mario Run did not live up to the expectations.

Super Mario Run seemed to hit the mark

Super Mario Run was released for the iPhone in December 2016 and later came out for Android towards the end of March in 2017. In the wake of Pokémon GO!’s success, there was a lot of anticipation for the game. As a newcomer to the mobile app scene, Nintendo sought to defy expectations of a phone game, ultimately taking a big risk. Many wondered if Nintendo would be able to translate the Mario franchise into a mobile phone game. Nintendo seemed to hit the mark when it came to creating a user friendly game: the gameplay was true to the franchise, the controls were easy to learn, and you can play with one hand. As far as a good mobile phone game goes, Super Mario Run seemed like a successful idea.

So then what went wrong?

According to comments in the Apple App Store, the Mario fan base seemed to be fairly split on the game. According to App Annie, the game received 37 million downloads and generated $14 million in revenue in the first three days after its release. Ultimately, the game did not meet Nintendo projections for downloads or total revenue. While many users were pleased with the game and didn’t mind paying the somewhat hefty price for the app, many users pointed out issues with the app, including the game’s need for a constant online connection, even for single-player modes.

Super Mario Run, sales, iOS

After the release of the new iPhone game, news outlets everywhere announced that Nintendo shares were falling due to the game’s perceived failure. Many cited the payment model for the game as a main reason for its failure. In all the discussions regarding the perceived failure of Super Mario Run, the price and the online requirement, not the game itself, seem to be the two main reasons behind customer dissatisfaction with the game.

Is $9.99 too expensive for a mobile phone game?

Most mobile phone games, including Pokémon GO!, rely on in-app purchases to continue creating revenue as the user continues to play the game. While the game itself is free, Super Mario Run relies on a one-time purchase of $9.99 to unlock all the entire game. While this might seem like a steep purchase for a mobile phone game, once the one-time payment is made, there are no other in-app purchases. Still, this eliminates the game's ability to continue generating revenue, meaning that the majority of the money brought in by the game would come in early on after the game's release.

The reasoning behind this decision seems to be that the one-time purchase would guarantee a certain amount of revenue, at least from users who make the choice to pay. However, the main success behind mobile phone games relies on their ability to slowly draw revenue from users one dollar at a time. Many users did not see the appeal in a $9.99 for a game with limited content, especially since Nintendo doesn’t seem to have plans to release new content any time soon.

Was it a failure or a success?

Ultimately, it seems that the game itself was successful in the graphics and gameplay, however, it seems that the two main faults cited by users: the price and the online requirement. It seems that the game was successful in terms of the app itself, but the price to content ratio and the constant need for internet or data usage were enough to dampen the sales. Nintendo has always sought to break the mold with their products (so maybe they should have innovated with how the online requirement was used, or in payment methods), which has both failed them and served them well in the past. It seems that this time, it may not have paid off as well as they had planned. Though the game was well-crafted, it does not seem that it was a successful business endeavor for Nintendo.

Though, this is the first game Nintendo have made for mobile devices, so maybe future games will improve on the aspects where Super Mario Run faltered. Nintendo have always managed to bring hosts of fun to their games, so maybe they can bring fun to paying for them too?

Pokemon Go Water Festival Event Has Started Thu, 23 Mar 2017 05:58:14 -0400 tofuslayer

Niantic Labs announced that starting March 22nd at 1 pm PDT, Pokémon Go is celebrating a global Water Festival by giving trainers an opportunity to catch more Water-type Pokémon.

According to an update on the Pokémon Go website, trainers anywhere in the world are more likely to encounter Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, as well as their Evolutions. If you already have all of those Pokémon and their evolutions, there’s still more. If you explore areas where Water-type Pokémon typically dwell, you’ll have a better chance of encountering Water-type Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Johto region. The update also hinted that trainers may be more likely to encounter Lapras in these areas.

In addition, trainers will be able to access a new avatar wardrobe item, the Magikarp Hat, later today.

For trainers interested in capitalizing on these limited-time festivities, the Pokémon Go Water Festival celebration ends on March 29, 2017 at 1 pm PDT.

Pokémon Go Release Date Revealed Wed, 15 Jun 2016 14:45:22 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

Pokémon Go is possibly one of the most anticipated mobile games of 2016 and some lucky participants have been able to test the Beta version of the game. The time has finally arrived as we will be able to get Pokémon Go very soon.

Nintendo announced on their E3 website that Pokémon Go along with the Pokémon Go Plus will be released in late July of this year. The Pokémon Go Plus is compatible with any smartphone that has Pokémon Go installed. It is paired with the phone via Bluetooth LE after a quick setup process. When the Pokémon Go Plus is close to the smartphone, both will vibrate if a Pokémon is close by. This accessory allows players to capture Pokémon with a press of a button without having to pull out your phone.

Players will also encounter predetermined locations called PokéStops, where you can collect Poké Balls, Berries, and even Pokémon Eggs. Players can even use the Pokémon Go Plus accessory to visit these PokéStops to acquire items.   

Source Images [Header Image, Gameplay Screeenshot]

7 features we want to see in Pokemon GO Mon, 08 Feb 2016 21:31:27 -0500 Autumn Fish

After the Super Bowl ad, generations of Pokemon fans are starving for scraps of news on Nintendo and Niantic Lab's upcoming mobile game, Pokemon GO. Unfortunately, it looks like we aren't getting any meaty info until GDC this March.

When it launches, we expect Pokemon GO to dropkick the mobile gaming market into the stratosphere. Despite this, it is unclear how the game will play or when it will release. So we thought of some features we want to see in Pokemon GO.

1. Pokemon Breeding System

In order to get into a healthy flow of trading variety in Pokemon, breeding is essential to include. If someone from your area goes on vacation or travels to an event, they may come back with a new Pokemon species that can be gradually introduced to other Trainers in your town.

This doesn't mean we should be able to crank out 300 Pokemon a day - we shouldn't even be able to breed that many Pokemon in a month. Giving eggs a timer and locking females from further breeding until recovered will work wonders for the purposes of Pokemon GO.

2. Pokemon Amie

Pokemon Go Pikachu Pokemon AmieCatching wild Pokemon out in the world will be a far more personal and rewarding experience in Pokemon GO, which makes Pokemon Amie (or a similar feature) the perfect addition to the experience. Imagine taking your new Pokemon home after a fresh capture and bonding together through direct interaction.

3. Passive Pokemon Training

Battles will be far rarer in Pokemon GO than previous entries of the franchise, so it shouldn't be the only way to train your Pokemon. They could gradually reward party Pokemon with EXP from activities like:

  • Encountering a new Pokemon species.
  • Capturing a Pokemon
  • Trading
  • Bonding in Pokemon Amie

4. Migrating Rare Pokemon Species

Wild Pokemon spawns are already confirmed to be linked to your environment in real life, while rare Pokemon are limited to specific areas of the world. If you live near an Eevee spawn, there's nothing stopping you from capturing a load of them and trading for any Pokemon you want at a Pokemon GO event.

A simple way to get around this is to cycle the rare Pokemon spawns every few months. If Eevee spawns in only a handful of "Plains" regions across the globe, rotate which "Plains" they appear in every so often. Trainers will never know what they're going to find when they venture out.

5. Seasonal Pokemon Spawns

Pokemon GO generation 5 black 2 white 2 seasonsOne amazing idea the 5th generation of Pokemon spit out was a seasonal spawn table. Even simply adjusting the spawn rates each for each season would help emulate a living ecosystem, but having a few seasonal Pokemon would encourage continual player engagement in the long run.

6. Abilities

Natures, IVs, and EVs can all be too complicated to put into a game about traveling the real world to collect your Pokemon; abilities, however, fit perfectly. Not only do they make your Pokemon stick out among the crowd, they add an extra layer to the rock-paper-scissors style battle system.

7. Evolution Stones, Pokeballs, TMs, and more

What is Pokemon without a decent item system? We need Evolution Stones to evolve certain species, Pokeballs for aesthetic variety, and TMs to give our Pokemon unique move sets. Hold items such as scarves and berries would add a bit of unpredictability to battles. A few key items may even be necessary, such as the Fishing Rods to capture Pokemon around water.

What features do you want to see in Pokemon GO?

Pokemon GO will be a smash hit, there is little doubt about that. What features would you like to see for Niantic Lab's upcoming mobile game? Join in the speculation in the comments below!