Nintendo asked its gaming app partner CyberAgent to discourage users from spending too much on in-app purchases, fearing this could hurt its brand image, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

CyberAgent is one of several companies Nintendo has revenue-sharing agreements with covering free-to-download games. The companies collaborated on Dragalia Lost, which initially drew complaints from users over the difficulty of winning rare characters through in-game lotteries.

This resulted in some users spending thousands of dollars on the process.

CyberAgent representatives told the WSJ Nintendo asked it to adjust the game following the user backlash.

“Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” one CyberAgent representative said, adding: “If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”

A source told WSJ Nintendo views gaming apps as a way to boost sales of its main console games, but noted the company doesn’t want to appear greedy when it comes to apps, even if it means partners miss out on revenue.

While this is unlikely to please the partners, a Nintendo representative said it discusses “various things” with partners “to deliver high-quality fun to consumers”.

WSJ added Nintendo has modest goals for the mobile business of annual revenue of JPY100 billion ($895 million).

Nintendo CEO Shuntaro Furukawa said it would like to work with developers to accelerate smartphone game releases as it aims to reach its goal by increasing player numbers.

Sensor Tower reported Nintendo’s mobile games raked in $348 million in 2018, a 15 per cent year-on-year increase, thanks to the popularity of Fire Emblem Heroes and Dragalia Lost.