Kimishima: already $5 million for Fire Emblem Heroes, more on the Switch, mobile games, online

On Tuesday, TIME published a massive interview with Tatsumi Kimishima (President of Nintendo), which covers various topics: the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s mobile games, and more. You can check it out by clicking here, but below, you will find some juicy bits from the interview.

Let’s start with Fire Emblem Heroes, which is off to a great start. According to Tatsumi Kimishima, the game was downloaded over 1 million time… in half a day. The game has already generated $5 million, but the wording is a bit unclear: “we’re seeing revenue today at $5 million U.S. dollars.” (the problem is that we don’t know on which day Kimishima made that statement).

In the interview, Tatsumi Kimishima also mentions his relationship with Shinya Takahashi (Director, General Manager of the Nintendo Entertainment and Development division):

As far as my relationship with Mr. Takahashi goes, when Mr. Iwata was our president, Mr. Takahashi was there as his right hand man, supporting him, giving him information on progress through development and different directional advice, and so my relationship was through the window of Mr. Iwata. I wasn’t directly connected. It was through Mr. Iwata that I knew Mr. Takahashi, and we interacted that way. However, with the passing of Mr. Iwata [in July 2015], I’m now receiving the same support from Mr. Takahashi that he previously provided Mr. Iwata. So I now have a direct relationship with him, much in the same way that I previously had with Mr. Iwata.

He also explains that since he himself doesn’t have a background in development (unlike Satoru Iwata), Shinya Takahashi also works with Ko Shiota (head of Nintendo’s Platform Technology Development Division), who happens to work under Genyo Takeda (Technology Fellow), so Shinya Takahashi ends up overseeing both Software and Hardware development.

Regarding Miitomo (which received an update today), it’s been downloaded about 18 million times so far, and Nintendo is planning to keep supporting it in the future.

As for Super Mario Run, Nintendo is hoping to reach 10% of paying customers, and so far, that number is sitting around 5%. Tatsumi Kimishima also explains that the top 20 countries account for more than 90% of the total revenue generated by the game so far (despite it launching in 150 countries simultaneously).

Kimishima believes that Super Mario Run’s one-time payment option is viable, though still rather new, and therefore not yet popular.

The point I’m making is that we’re experimenting with different types of monetization. There’s the type I mentioned we’re using with Super Mario Run, and the different style we’re using with Fire Emblem Heroes. As a result of these experiments with monetization styles, we’re gaining what you might call confidence in our mobile business efforts.

Regarding the Nintendo Switch Online Service, Tatsumi Kishima shared a tentative pricing last week in an interview with the Nikkei. In that interview with TIME, he explained that Nintendo would make sure the service is worth it for customers:

More details are forthcoming, but I just want to make sure that everyone understands that we will be going above and beyond to make sure that our customers are getting a service that is worth paying for, so we’re paying special attention to make sure that this is, again, a valuable service that they will appreciate from us.

He reiterates that online is going to be a key component of the whole Nintendo Switch business, which is why the company is adamant on offering the Nintendo Switch Online Service at the low price mentioned last week. As for the Nintendo eShop, he confirms players will be able to buy games from it at launch, but didn’t share any additional details.

But for Tatsumi Kimishima, what will really matter is content:

We really think that regardless of what others are doing or what services are being offered, it comes down to a battle of content. We feel it’s a matter of getting our content to the consumer at a price point that will make them happy, and then we’re willing to look at what else we can do going forward. This is just the starting point for us, so again, it’s a battle of content. We think we have what we need to win the battle on that front, and we hope to provide more details about the service going forward.

Regarding a possible successor to the Nintendo 3DS (something that was mentioned in another interview, last week), Tatsumi Kishima explains that while Nintendo wasn’t creating one at the moment, the company was indeed “thinking of different ways to continue the portable gaming business.”.

When asked whether there would be revisions for the Nintendo Switch, just like there has been for Nintendo handhelds, Tatsumi Kimishima’s answer is deliciously non committal:

We want Switch to sell for a long time, of course, and we hope it has really long legs. That said, technology, of course, advances quickly, and so I’m not going to say that we have a team working on the next thing. But we obviously have people looking at new technologies and thinking of new ideas even now as we speak.

As for amiibo, Nintendo’s focus moving forward will be to “forge a better connection between gameplay and amiibo itself”, rather than releasing lots of figures for collectors.

The interview also goes over Nintendo and e-Sports, Nintendo Switch availability in the upcoming weeks/months, Nintendo remaining unique, and a lot more. Click here to check out the full interview!


Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat.

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