Mobile App Success Story: Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

Do you want to take care of animals? Is it your dream to be a campsite manager? If “Yes”, then your smartphone is what you need to accomplish all that. Well, your smartphone and a really beautiful game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Animal Crossing fans know what we are talking about, but we should tell the story for all mobile users, app owners and marketers.

Brilliant Idea

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is the mobile version of the famous Animal Crossing game. The rules are simple: players need to build their own campsites and to decorate them for their favorite animals. Nintendo, the Japanese video game company released the game last year, in November, on Apple App Store, and on Google Play Store. As soon as it was launched, the game became a smashing success just like Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run. All users who appreciate well – designed simulation apps wanted to try Animal Crossing for smartphones. Before going further, we recommend you to check our tutorial on how to promote this category of apps.

How Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Did It

Well, there are many marketing techniques applied by Nintendo team! And because we already talked about all these tools with previous occasions we just want to highlight the importance of following the best practices for each strategy implemented.

Free To Play

Animal Crossing follows the same pattern of most successful games when it comes to app monetization. The game is free to download and play and it offers in-app purchases for a more impressive adventure. As usual, players can enjoy the experience without any costs, but if they aren’t so patient or if they want to make things more interesting they will have to pay for various items. Buying Leaf Tickets allows users to continue with their plans without waiting for their virtual order to be processed. At the same time, they can personalize their characters with special accessories.


One of the most interesting elements of the game is the story which attracts more and more users. Animal Crossing fans will recognize some of the characters while new players will also be glad to meet Isabelle, who teaches them what to do. In the same time, she manages the official Twitter account of the game. We shouldn’t forget about combining the power of storytelling and social media. Cyrus is the handyman and Giovanni, Carlo and Beppe from OK Motors will help players when they want to customize their campsite. The game is not only about building furniture and adding new items but also about creating a pleasant atmosphere with their friends. More about these helpers you will find in a special section on the game’s website.

App Store Optimization

For making sure about the results generated by your strategy, you always need to create the perfect app store page. And if you don’t know how to do it, you can find many advices on the blog and you can use Animal Crossing as an inspiration for an interesting app title, a detailed app description, impressive screenshots and funny preview video. We also recommend you a helpful guide for keywords research, because finding relevant keywords for your app store page is mandatory for the success of your product.


When you want to gather more users for your game, what you need to do is to engage them with a compelling website. And Nintendo team did a fantastic job with the official page of the game. As you can see, it has all the required elements for intriguing users and for making them curious to try the game, even if they didn’t play Animal Crossing before. A dynamic image with popular characters, links that take viewers to the app stores and all the necessary information displayed in an intuitive manner, makes this website a strong tool for attracting more players. Keep in mind that a well – designed website represents the perfect presentation for your company.

Soft Launch

It is true that Nintendo is a giant brand but it doesn’t matter if you are an independent developer or a huge development company when it comes to testing your product before presenting it in front of your target users. If you want to be sure of your success you can try the app in a narrowed area. After gathering feedback from Australian users for a month, the team behind Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp decided to launch it for the wide audience. This way you will know if it is worth the effort or it is better to move on to the next project. We’ve shared with you the most important guidelines for getting the best out of a soft launch.


As you can see, all the techniques presented above are connected one with the other but the truth is that you can’t obtain the wanted results without a great app design. And what users are looking for, when they download an app, especially a simulation game is to have the chance to customize it according to their style. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp provides various elements that enhance users’ experience and allow them to interact with the numerous characters in a unique way. As we already discussed, app personalization offers you the opportunity to be one step ahead of your competition.

Bonus Tip: Make Sure You Increase User Retention and Engagement With Your App!

Nintendo combined different marketing strategies for attracting users and for making sure that they keep coming back to the game, becoming loyal players. And the results reached their expectations. In the first week, after the launch, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp hit 15 million downloads, according to SensorTower. The game continues to be successful because Google selected it as one of the nominees for the 2018 Google Play Awards. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is highlighted as one of the Best Breakthrough Hits which are “apps or games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong organic install growth”.

Final Thoughts

The story behind Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is the proof that all those marketing techniques described before on our blog really work and can help app owners to reach their customers’ demands. After analyzing this game, our conclusion is that marketers should take advantage of all the smart tools available for improving users’ experience and for transforming players into valuable users.

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