Miitomo, Nintendo’s first mobile game, reached the top of Japanese iOS charts in its first day of availability. According data from market research company App Annie, as reported by the Japan Times, the social app knocked Line–Japan’s most popular messaging app–down to second place in the popularity chart.
Speaking to the publication, Jefferies Group LLC analyst Atul Goyal said “this should remove any doubts about the Nintendo brand’s relevancy in the smartphone age.”
He continued: “More than just a messaging tool, Miitomo can be a platform for distributing Nintendo content, and probably third-party content at a later stage.”
Nintendo spokesperson Yasuhiro Minagawa declined to offer specific numbers on the amount of times Miitomo was downloaded, but said the app had “a good start and [Nintendo has] received very positive feedback.”
Miitomo was released on March 17 in Japan. As of yet, a release date for western markets has not yet been announced. It allows users to create and customize a Mii character, then sync up with others, much like the Mii functionality on Wii and Wii U.
Once a Mii is created, it can be shared with other users. Other Miis will ask you questions such as “what did you do last weekend?” and the answers to these can also be shared with friends.
Miifotos, meanwhie, will let Mii characters be placed in images from a smartphone’s image gallery. These images can then be shared on social media sites.
Although Miitomo is free to download, it also has an in-game shop where extra clothing and items can be purchased with Miitomo coins. Real-world money can be used to purchase Miitomo Coins, or they can be eared via gameplay.
Miitomo is just the first of Nintendo’s smartphone games, which it is producing in partnership with DeNA. Another upcoming smartphone game “will not be a communication app” like Miitomo, but instead a title that features a well-known Nintendo character.
A total of five smartphone games from Nintendo are due to launch by 2017. These games, all of which will be free, are being produced under the guidance of longtime Mario Kart producer Hideki Konno.