Nintendo is planning to bring its game The Legend of Zelda to mobile devices, according to The Wall Street Journal. People familiar with the matter told the WSJ that this is the company’s most recent step to expand its mobile games lineup.
Is The Legend of Zelda really coming to mobile?
The report claims that The Legend of Zelda will be following in the footsteps of Animal Crossing, Super Mario and Fire Emblem. There is not much information about the game or its launch, but sources tell the WSJ that the Zelda game will come after the Animal Crossing app, which after several delays is being launched in the second half of this year. The sources, however, said that nothing is locked down yet in terms of timing.
The mobile version of The Legend of Zelda will be developed with DeNA, which previously produced Fire Emblem Heroes, Super Mario Run and Miitomo for the company, notes Kotaku. There is still no information about how much the Zelda game for mobile devices will cost or what kind of gameplay it might offer. Nintendo’s Super Mario Run costs nothing to start, but it does cost $10 to unlock all the stages. In contrast, Fire Emblem is based on typical micro-transactions to purchase in-game currency.
It should be noted that the WSJ report is based on unnamed sources, and the company has yet to officially confirm the news about the Zelda game, so nothing is confirmed so far. The Japanese gaming giant and its game developer DeNA refused to comment on the matter when approached by the WSJ. Considering that Zelda is among Nintendo’s most popular franchises, it would be no surprise if the company actually brings the series to mobile.
Nintendo and its mobile gaming strategy
The Japanese company has been saying for years that it would not bring its franchises to smartphones. However, that changed in March 2015 when the company laid out a plan to make games for mobile devices, notes Gamespot. Initially, the gaming giant promised that it would release five mobile games by March, but we saw only three games before that date: Super Mario Run, Miitomo and Fire Emblem Heroes, notes IGN.
Previously, Shigeru Miyamoto, a Japanese video game designer currently serving as a co-representative director at Nintendo, said they were planning to release five games all along, but market conditions and the development process for each title eliminated one unknown game (likely the Zelda title) from the launch window, notes IGN.
Despite the hype, the mobile game strategy has not been a huge commercial hit for the gaming company, notes the WSJ. It brought in less than $176.4 million or ¥20 billion for the gaming giant in the fiscal year that ended on March 30.
The WSJ also reported that The Pokemon Company is developing “a new card game app.” However, it was not clear if this will tie into the current ecosystem of the physical Pokemon cards. Nintendo owns a 32% stake in The Pokemon Company.