Readers may remember a few months back when we told you about Bandai’s new Tamagotchi smartphone app, which just been released at the time. Here in Japan, the Tamagotchi smartphone app is a paid offering, but Bandai offered a localized free-to-play version for the US. It’s called Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. And the company has just announced that it has surpassed 2.5 million downloads since its initial release, a decent initial result for that market.
The L.i.f.e. app (what were they thinking when they named this?) first became available on iOS on March 28, and the Android version followed on February 14. 1.5 million of the total downloads to date have been on the iOS platform.
The paid Japanese versions of Tamagotchi for smartphone have performed much better (even though they are paid) with the iOS version ranking no lower than fourth in the ‘family’ category on the Japanese App Store since its release. Similarly over on Google Play, the paid app has been a top 5 mainstay in the casual category for months .
While all these numbers still relatively modest, it’s a promising start. For Bandai to leverage its older IP like this, it should serve as an example to companies like Nintendo who have yet to bring characters like Mario to the smartphone .
Bandai says that it plans to release an updated Tamagotchi Generation 2 this summer, with new features and characters. The company will also bring smartphone versions of Tamagotchi Angel in 2014. That’s not quite the blistering development schedule we’ve become accustomed to from modern day mobile developers – but it’s certainly faster than Nintendo.