New Data Suggests 'Users Didn't Really Get Miitomo,' Leading to its Decline

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After a few weeks of news surrounding Nintendo's continued push into smartphone gaming, the company's first app -- Miitomo -- slowly started to disappear from the conversation as users began to abandon the app. Nintendo celebrated an impressive 10 million user downloads a few weeks after Miitomo's release, but since then little news or talk has been circling from Nintendo itself or the game's original downloaders.

A new report by SurveyMonkey attempts to drill down to the reasoning behind Miitomo's rise and fall, which occurred all in the span of about two months. To do so, the site compared Miitomo to King's Candy Crush Saga and Supercell's Clash of Clans, two games which not only debuted big, but kept players engaged frequently on a week-by-week basis. All three games had a similar huge download spike at launch, with Candy Crush Saga topping the charts, followed by a downturn in downloads in the subsequent weeks.

The difference between the games is that those belonging to King and Supercell saw continued user engagement by the gamers who originally downloaded them. According to SurveyMonkey's numbers, Clash Royale is played on average 4.2 days per week by its users, while Candy Crush Saga is played 3.3 days each week. Miitomo, on the other hand, sees users returning just 2.3 days per week. The site's leading theory on this low return rate statistic is a fanbase that "didn't really get Miitomo."

In Miitomo's case, this lower-than-peers engagement translates into higher churn. The game's weekly churn more than 50% means that over half of the users of Miitomo on a given week won't come back and play it again the following week. For some apps that don't need frequent use this isnt a problem, but for games like Miitomo that are designed for frequent use, churn at this level foreshadows a quick decline.
As others have described it, SurveyMonkey calls Miitomo a social game, whose main value lies in the interaction and presence of friends who can witness the customization of your Mii and the answers you give to the app's questions. Since the only reason for return is content updates centered around avatar clothes and new "Miitomo Drop" levels, the game's feedback loop dissatisfies gamers whose only reason for weekly revisiting is to dress up their Mii to be seen by seen by no one in particular, since they "end up living in a ghost town."

After initial heavy interest in the app, most likely due to its status as Nintendo's first original smartphone game, it appears that most users have decided to simply wait for the company's promise of "pure game applications." What that will take the form of isn't exactly clear yet, but we do know it'll be centered around the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem franchises to start.

Article Link: New Data Suggests 'Users Didn't Really Get Miitomo,' Leading to its Decline
 

WarHeadz

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2015
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Who is the target audience of this app? It doesn't make much sense to me. We're supposed to watch eachother make cartoon versions of ourselves and dress them up with new "clothes"? These can't possibly be the same people who created classics like Super Mario Bros, which is loved by people of all ages.

Maybe they should just go back to their roots and make playing cards if they won't bring the games we love (plus new versions of them) to the devices we carry around on us at all times. Portable handheld single purpose gaming consoles are a thing of the past.
 

TurboPGT!

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Sep 25, 2015
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I didn't even bother downloading it, Nintendo is doing it wrong.
This, I wouldn't even give them statistic so as to reinforce that they don't get it.

Unfortunately, the idiots at Nintendo will take away from this: "See! We told you the App Store was not a profit center for us!" and never bother releasing the titles that actually would make money.
 

Hastings101

macrumors 68020
Jun 22, 2010
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I don't really get it either. I thought it was supposed to be like bringing Miiverse to mobile so people could use it with other upcoming mobile Nintendo games, but instead it acts like its own weird (and bad) freemium game. If they just wanted to get into the market they could have just waited until Pokemon Go or released an old NES Mario or something.
 

solarguy17

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2007
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Portable handheld single purpose gaming consoles are a thing of the past.
I think the millions of Gameboys sold each year would disagree with you. But I agree. They would probably make more money by putting the games in the various app stores. But would you or anyone be willing to pay $30+ for a game like a cartridge based game.
 
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honglong1976

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Jul 12, 2008
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It is actually really good but is an app that desperately needs more! more things to do, more rooms, more challenges!

At the moment you stand in a room answering questions, taking random photos and buying clothes. That's it.

Lots of potential! but only works if you have lots of friends added!
 
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WarHeadz

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Aug 30, 2015
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But would you or anyone be willing to pay $30+ for a game like a cartridge based game.
Absolutely not, but I wouldn't pay $30 for a game cartridge (they still use those?) either at this time. Nor would I buy a Game Boy. However, I would be willing to pay $5 for Mario on my iPhone. They would need to compete with current game prices.
 

WarHeadz

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Aug 30, 2015
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It is actually really good but is an app that desperately needs more! more things to do, more rooms, more challenges!

At the moment you stand in a room answering questions, taking random photos and buying clothes. That's it.

Lots of potential! but only works if you have lots of friends added!
I can't for the life of me fathom why grown adults would partake in this.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
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People will be happy even with a port of the original Pokémon Red & Blue. Wake up, Nintendo.
I know! Remember way back when there was that port of Pokemon Yellow on the App Store -- a port that didn't even work, by the way, selling for $5 I think -- and it racked up a stupendous amount of purchases in no time at all, even amongst a plethora of one-star reviews saying it didn't work.

Nintendo say that they don't want to port their games to other hardware. Fair enough, if it's your latest title. But a 20+ year old game?! Put it in a virtual Gameboy app and sell for £1.99. Massive revenue stream. You can do that in a few clicks right now if you're jailbroken. You could even do it before without jailbreaking.

These are games that are utterly useless to Nintendo. Every boy and his dog has a port. Christ, I even had a perfect English ROM of Red/Blue back in the mid/late '90s, running on my Dad's Pentium ThinkPad. I acquired it through the search engine Altavista (or was it called Astalavista back then?). There was even a ROM of Pokemon Green (not that I could understand any of it), and a poorly-translated ROM of Silver/Gold, released almost instantly after it came out on cartridge.

So yes, for absolutely no effort -- and I really must stress, this would be no effort for them to pull off -- they can make a lot of people happy and still pursue what they're doing now.

My perfect scenario? Re-release the original games, but enable trading/battles over Game Centre or Bluetooth. But seeing as they don't even have the original Mario on iOS, this is nothing short of a pipe dream.

EDIT: Reminiscing about that badly-translated port of Gold has brought back some memories. And it was a really bad translation. One half-word of English for every paragraph of strange symbols. Remember how Sudowoodo was blocking the path? Well every time I tried to talk to it, it just wriggled and spat Japanese back at me. Every time I talked to anybody, they just blabbed jibberish at me too. I can't begin to tell you how many hours I mashed away to finally, out of sheer luck and desperation, manage to wake it up.
 
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smacrumon

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Jan 15, 2016
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This has something to do with awareness of the product and the type of product.

I'm constantly bombarded with marketing for Candy Crush and Clash Royal, but almost none for Miitomo.

It may also have something to do with Candy Crush and Clash Royal having a very overt casino element and addictive gambling quality built in leading to more "engagement" (or more accurately addiction).
 

Alonso Quijano

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2013
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Well then that's a huge part of its problem. Adults are a huge market for games. Is Nintendo under the impression that this nonsense is what the kids are into these days? If this is supposed to be designed for kids they have another thing coming....
I'm 18, almost 19 and I have a wide variety of friends on mine between the ages of 14-20. I don't like video games but miitomo is nice and fun.
 

lsatterfield

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
64
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Miitomo doesn't appeal to anyone except people who are truly "Nintendo" or very into Japanese culture. I'm more of a Playstation guy, so I don't care about Miis. What does "Miitomo" mean anyway? Do I want to download the app to even find out? No. I'm guessing that a lot of people did download just because, and it wasn't compelling enough to keep them past the answer to "What the heck is this?"
 
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avanpelt

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Jun 2, 2010
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Give me Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda for $9.99 each or the bundle for $14.99 and it's an instant buy for me. Aside from those two titles, I'm not interested in much Nintendo has to offer.