In a report by The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo sources claim the gaming company is worried microtransactions will ruin its reputation. The publisher has gone so far as to ask its mobile game development studios to curb player spending.
One of the sources for the WSJ article hails from Dragalia Lost developers Cygames' parent company CyberAgent Inc. CyberAgent reportedly told The Wall Street Journal, "Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game. If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more."
While Nintendo would not confirm CyberAgent's story, they did tell WSJ that they often speak to their partner development studios about various aspects of game development, not just monetization.
However, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto has cautioned against overzealous microtransactions in games, particularly during a speech at CEDEC 2018. So we can very easily see Nintendo being cautious about having extremely robust microtransactions in their mobile games.
So, while its obvious some developers aren't happy with Nintendo's lowkey route to game monetization, the popularity of Nintendo's mobile games tells a different story. After all, Pokémon Go is still one of the largest mobile games on the market. Hard data on Nintendo's mobile game performance is hard to find, however, as they do not report major player milestone numbers the way most other games do. However, rough estimates put the total downloads of Pokémon Go at around 150 million. It may not beat Candy Crush, but that's still pretty darn good.