In 2016, Nintendo released it’s social gaming app, Miitomo. It was a hit within the first week, but was later forgotten and dropped by much of its playerbase. The game had players make their own avatars, or Miis who would represent them as they answered questions or sent messages to one another. However, Nintendo didn’t seem to know what they were doing when it came to social media, and this spelled disaster in long run.
Due to a lack of interesting things to do in game, or the ability to even leave the small room that each Mii inhabited, the software grew stale quickly. Not only that, but it seemed as if the moderation the game used was purely automated. Any player could report another for just about anything and they would be punished even if it was not an offense. All of this lumped together created the perfect storm to bring the app down.
In October, I picked up Miitomo myself. I grew addicted and made many friends, but soon found that I was living in fear of the false reports that others might throw at me. I watched as many on my friends list would be banned for meager posts talking about how much they enjoyed a certain food, or just greeting others. Still, I played until the end of that same month when I myself was reported for my bio, which to my memory was essentially just “Hello, I’m Rebby!” This was when I finally left.
Since that day, I have been checking back on the app to see if they may have fixed their broken moderation system. For four months there were no updates until recently when I learned that Miitomo was shutting down for good. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to me. I felt that Nintendo was neglecting it, which could only mean that it was in for a rough time. Still, I knew people who continue to play for one reason or another.
Am I sad to see Miitomo go? No, not really. In a way I’m happy to watch this ship sink. After all, one can hope that Nintendo may learn a thing or too from the whole ordeal. If not, then perhaps mobile gaming just isn’t where they belong.