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Nintendo hopes Mario mobile app crossover will be a big money-spinner

Although Nintendo has not had the best of times financially in recent years, the Japanese company still boasts some of the most recognisable characters in the video game industry.

Now, the company has revealed its flagship mascot Mario is set to star in one of Japan’s most popular mobile apps, albeit on the company’s portable 3DS console.

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Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition is based on a mobile game developed by GungHo Online Entertainment for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire platforms. App Annie reports that the game has been one of the top-two grossing apps in the Japanese App Store over the last three years.

A regular version of Puzzle & Dragons was released for the 3DS in 2013 and went on to sell 1.5 million copies in the first six months. When Mario’s popularity is taken in to account, particularly in his homeland, the upcoming crossover is likely to be a big money-spinner for Nintendo.

Whenever Nintendo works with external developers or hardware, questions are always posed as to whether it would consider releasing its most popular franchises on another company’s console. While we’re unlikely to see Mario or the next Legend of Zelda game appearing on Sony’s PlayStation anytime soon, Nintendo has at least shown a willingness to face the competition of mobile gaming head-on.

Last year, the company released an online version of its Pokémon Trading Card Game for the iPad.

Although Puzzle & Dragons is not so well-known in the West, it still regularly places in the top 100 grossing apps in the iOS store in the US.

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While Nintendo’s Wii U console has struggledbarc for market share, its handheld platform the 3DS has continued to sell well. However, its success is threatened by the rise of mobile gaming, something Nintendo will be hoping to ward off with the release of Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.