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New Miitomo data reveals that Nintendo's fledgling mobile app is having trouble retaining users
Nintendo’s first foray into the mobile marketplace, Miitomo, has made headlines on a number of different occasions, including the revelation it wasn’t actually a “game” to begin with. Since release however, the news has all been pleasantly positive…Until now.
According to new data by SurveyMonkey, there may be a major inconsistency between the number of people who downloaded Miitomo and the number of people actually using it on a frequent basis. The findings are presented via three key visuals, comparing Miitomo with two popular rivals, Candy Crush Jelly Saga and Clash Royale:
In the above graph, the estimated number of Miitomo downloads can be seen dramatically falling around mid April, and has basically remain flat since then.
In the next graph, the average number of days used per week can be seen, with Miitomo clearly in the last position of the three aforementioned apps:
And finally, SurveyMonkey has provided a look at weekly active users:
Suffice to say that the information provided is not exactly the most encouraging, and Engadget arguably sums up the situation quite concisely, writing that:
Compared to mobile heavyweights Candy Crush and Clash Royale, Miitomo, on average, is only played half as much per week — something that could be a bad sign for its longevity. The amount of average weekly users? By SurveyMonkey’s count, it’s just over 2.5 million. Meaning, only a quarter of the people who’ve downloaded it so far regularly open the app.
This is quite a departure from the seemingly swimming story Nintendo’s late-April Tweet told in touting the app had been downloaded by 10 million users:
Diagnosing the dilemma
Arguably the main problem is simply a total lack of content. The app has not changed since its introduction several months ago. It still consists of answering questions, buying and changing clothing, and playing a pachinko-type ball drop game to…win clothing. This comes in stark difference to say, Tomodachi Life, which features a multitude of different modes and options to use an entire assortment of assembled Mii characters.
Save for a leak that spills the proverbial beans about development costs and expected revenue earnings, it’s ultimately impossible to say for certain just how good – or bad – this situation might be for Nintendo. It’s conceivable that the app has been considerably more successful than expected, in which case Nintendo would be pleased. On the other hand, with this kind of drop seen in daily use, it could spell trouble for the long term viability of the platform.
If anything can be drawn from this situation, it is perhaps the idea that free to play itself is a fantastic model to drive initial installations, but in terms of getting a cache of cash spent on in-game fashion items, users may not be so quick to stay and “play”.
Nintendo has arguably squandered the chance to make Miitomo part of the core Nintendo experience, as even on a personal level numerous friends have expressed an interest in the product, but have passed on downloading it until “it’s relevant”. By this, they mean until it somehow connects with a Gamertag or other such cross-platform user ID where it holds more meaning.
Perhaps it is slightly ironic that for a company that has built its Mario empire on loyal Mushroom Retainers, there seems to be some trouble to be had in the retention of ordinary humans.
What do you think, is Miitomo delivering on the digital dreams you imagined upon first installation, or has it failed to establish itself as the future of social networking? Leave a comment below and sound off on the situation!