Nintendo axes Miitomo, its first smartphone game

Miitomo logo Image copyright Nintendo

Nintendo has announced the closure of Miitomo, which it launched in 2016 as its first foray into smartphone gaming.

The app was a "social experience" in which players could dress up avatars known as Mii and could pose for virtual selfies to share online.

It was downloaded millions of times when it launched but struggled to maintain a large audience.

Nintendo will no longer sell in-game currency and after 9 May the app will completely cease to function.

Miitomo was Nintendo's first tentative step into mobile gaming.

When it was launched in March 2016, it received mixed reviews from gamers who had hoped Nintendo would bring one of its well-known video games to smartphones.

Nintendo's Mii avatars were introduced on its hit Wii console, but the characters feature less prominently on its latest console, Nintendo Switch.

"Miitomo was an interesting experiment," said games journalist Ryan Brown. "It'll be sad to see that wiped away forever."

Nintendo said it would hold a "thank you festival" before the service closed, offering players free virtual coins and game tickets.

"Thank you to all our dedicated users for contributing to Miitomo," it said in a statement.

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