The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has already sold like gangbusters on the Nintendo Switch and Wii U. A new report claims Nintendo and Japanese mobile gaming company DeNA are developing a new The Legend of Zelda title for smartphones. Meanwhile, a new Pokemon Trading Card Game could be coming as well.
A Wall Street Journal report claims The Legend of Zelda is one of many Nintendo franchises to head to mobile devices, per “people familiar with the matter.” An Animal Crossing smartphone app will arrive first in the latter half of 2017, according to the report, with a Zelda title to follow afterward.
CEO Tatsumi Kimishima recently stated Nintendo would have three new mobile games released by the end of March 2018, the end of the company’s fiscal year. With Animal Crossing arriving in the latter half of 2017, that puts The Legend of Zelda‘s mobile release likely in early 2018.
Nintendo currently free-to-play games like Fire Emblem: Heroes and Miitomo available on mobile along with the pay-to-play Super Mario Run. It also has a partnership with The Pokemon Company for the successful Pokemon Go, developed by Niantic Labs. Nintendo gets approximately a 19 percent cut of the game’s total revenues as reported by Quartz.
No details on The Legend of Zelda were revealed by the Wall Street Journal report beyond the fact it is being worked on and it will come after Animal Crossing. That leaves fans to speculate on whether it will be a free-to-play or pay-to-play title. There’s also the genre as it could be anything from a strategy game to a puzzle-solving game to a more action-adventure style romp.
Additionally, Wall Street Journal reports a new Pokemon Trading Card Game is being worked on. Oddly, one already exists for iOS so it not clear what direction a new one would take.
It’s possible more details will be revealed during E3 2017 in June. Nintendo is hosting a livestream Tuesday, June 12 focusing on the Nintendo Switch. However, additional Treehouse livestreams will run from June 13 through June 15. The Legend of Zelda mobile title will likely be announced then if the company plans any reveal during this year’s E3.
The foray into mobile gaming is something Nintendo has fought against for a long time. Kimishima stepping into the CEO role following the passing of Satoru Iwata changed the direction of the company, and a deal with DeNA was announced a year later.
Miitomo was the first step into the mobile world and focuses on Nintendo’s Mii avatars with social network and some mini-games. It received mixed reviews from critics with only a 72 Metacritic score, most notably dinged for being light on content.
Meanwhile, Super Mario Run was the first Nintendo developed mobile game released this past December on iOS and April for Android. The endless runner offers a free trial run of the first few levels but requires a $10 purchase to gain access to the full game. The app received a 76 Metacritic score that praised the game for its accessibility and platforming but took hits for some annoying items like no offline play, high price, and relatively short amount of play time before repeating levels.
Fire Emblem: Heroes is a mobile spin-off of the stylish and deep role-playing Fire Emblem franchise released to iOS this past February. The game nails the look of its Nintendo 3DS brethren, but comes with free-to-play hooks like collecting coins to unlock heroes of various quality. The light plot and free-to-play loop ultimately resulted in the game earning a 72 Metacritic score.
Breath of the Wild is Nintendo’s first runaway smash hit for the new Nintendo Switch hybrid console. The open-world action-adventure game released in March has garnered a near-perfect 97 Metacritic score and will likely be in the running for many game of the year awards. Its first DLC pack is scheduled to be released this summer for $20.
[Featured Image by Nintendo]