Nintendo has announced that it has formed a partnership with Japanese mobile game publisher DeNA to develop new content for smartphones. This is despite spending the better part of last year saying that it would never be making mobile games.
The partnership will not see Nintendo games ported over to smartphones, but instead have new titles based on existing IPs. Essentially, Nintendo thinks that it is a better idea to make entirely new games that are optimised for mobile platforms. Gamers can expect the company to backtrack on this eventually and just port Pokemon over to smartphones like everyone has been asking. To be fair, a number of Nintendo exclusive titles have already been ported to smartphones.
All Nintendo IPs are open for development, although the announcement did not specify which would be getting games first. That being said, it is likely that the usual suspects are slated to reappear in mobile games. It would not be surprising to see the company put out a Mario or Zelda title for Android and iOS soon.
Nintendo and DeNA are also developing an online membership service of some kind. The press release did not explain what this service would provide, but it looks like there will be a paid subscription of some sort. Nintendo is the only one of the big three console makers to not have a premium subscription service in place. That being said, the company has been overhauling Nintendo accounts lately, and even closed Club Nintendo.
As a platform, Nintendo has taken a back seat to both Microsoft and PlayStation. It has, however, been appearing like it has learnt from past mistakes and is no longer clinging to the old ways. The first new IP, Project STEAM, in many years is set to appear later this year; and this most recent announcement is another sign that Nintendo is willing to do what it takes to fight back as a console maker.
There is no timeline for when these Nintendo smartphone games will be appearing but, considering that mobile platforms take less time to developer for, it shouldn’t be too long. Although it is much too early to speculate on anything; which smartphone platforms the companies are targeting hasn’t even been announced yet.