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Nintendo's first smartphone game, Miitomo, hits million users in three days

Nintendo's first smartphone game is performing well in Japan. Miitomo, which the console maker launched on March 17th, has already snapped up1 million users on iOS and Android. Of course, Japan is Nintendo's home turf -- so some success was always likely -- but the number still bodes well for the app's international release. While the exact launch date is still unknown, Nintendo has said it plans to launch Miitomo in 38 regions, including Canada, the US and the UK, sometime later this month.

The number of users for the game, rolled out in Japan last Thursday, surpassed the one million mark on Saturday, a spokeswoman said, adding the company does not have an updated figure. The news sent shares in Nintendo soaring 8.18 percent higher to close at 16,515 yen Tuesday, a day after a national holiday. The official Twitter account for the game said on Saturday the company was surprised the game attracted so many players so quickly.
Nintendo has struggled as Sony and Microsoft outpaced it in console sales. The three companies are also fighting off a trend toward cheap -- even free -- downloadable games for smartphones and other mobile devices. Kyoto-based Nintendo had been criticised for its longstanding refusal to license some of its iconic brands for use on mobile applications. Last year the holder of the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises announced a tie-up with Tokyo-based mobile gaming company DeNA to develop games for smartphones.
Nintendo's social software has not always been a success. In 2013, it closed the Letterbox messaging service on its 3DS console over concerns people were sharing indecent images on the platform.
Despite the closure, Mr Olney said Miitomo did not have content filters built into it.
"There is no language or photo filter, it is something we brought up with them," he told the BBC.
"But it is a closed circle of friends - you can't add people just by email address, you have to be friends with them on Facebook or follow one another on Twitter. And you can report content you find inappropriate."
Miitomo, which is expected to be released in the UK in March, is the first of five mobile games Nintendo is producing with Japanese firm DeNA.
In January, Nintendo's president Kimishima Tatsumi said he hoped to use some of the firm's famous characters in smartphone games in the future.