Looks like Nintendo is still committing itself to the mobile market. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is developing smartphone games for The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, and a Pokémon card game. According to the report, the Animal Crossing game will most likely be released during the second half of 2017, with The Legend of Zelda game to follow (though sources claim the timing and order of each game’s release may change). There is yet no word on a release window for the purported Pokémon card game.
These newly alleged projects follow in the wake of other titles released under the joint efforts of Nintendo and mobile game developer DeNA, incluing Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and, most recently, Fire Emblem Heroes. Nintendo’s most recent financial briefing report provided some details regarding their mobile endeavors, with Nintendo essentially admitting a misstep on the mobile market, claiming they have gained “valuable insights this year that will help grow the business going forward.” In fact, Nintendo earned less than ¥20 billion ($176.4 million) from their mobile endeavors during the fiscal year ending March 2017.
I think it’s interesting to see that Nintendo remains committed to their mobile efforts, given that Miitomo was seemingly met with a lukewarm reception and Super Mario Run didn’t net the full game sales Nintendo was expecting. However, it seems the pricing structure for Fire Emblem Heroes is working in Nintendo’s favor, so if they can emulate that strategy with future titles, we may see a surge in profits and popularity yet.
Conversely—though Nintendo itself wasn’t directly involved in its development and release—Pokémon Go’s popularity can’t be ignored, and it may yet have a lasting impact on Nintendo and the idea of its presence in the mobile games market. Though I certainly am curious to hear what kind of mobile games we might get for The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing, I’m most eagerly awaiting a mobile Pokémon TCG-style game (here’s to hoping!). We’ll just have to see if this report proves true—and hopefully it does.