The Pokémon Company’s phenomenal success with Pokémon Go certainly seems like the trigger that made Nintendo take the mobile market seriously. It launched Super Mario Run late last year, debuted Fire Emblem: Heroes in January, and has announced plans to bring other flagship franchises to iPhone later this year.
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Details about the company’s plans come via the usual sources familiar with the matter.
The report says that Nintendo will release the new Zelda game after the iPhone version of Animal Crossing comes out. Animal Crossing was originally scheduled to launch before April but the company delayed the release.
The Wall Street Journal sources indicate Animal Crossing won’t be available until the second half of 2017. It says the new instalment of The Legend of Zelda will come after that, but warns that the schedule is flexible. It is unknown if iPhone Zelda will be a full 3D RPG like the flagship console games, a port of one of the many 2D Zelda RPGs from Nintendo’s handheld consoles, or something else entirely.
Nintendo is currently seeing strong sales of its new home console, the Nintendo Switch, with the system’s launch propelled by incredible customer and critic response to ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.’ The Switch game retails for $60; pricing plans for the mobile version of Zelda remain unclear.
With Super Mario Run, Nintendo opted not to rely on the usual freemium monetization. Instead, players run a few levels for free and then unlock the full game with a one-time $10 purchase. In contrast, Fire Emblem does rely on typical micro-transactions to buy in-game currency.
The same report claims the Pokémon Company will follow-up on Pokémon Go with a new card-based game for mobile in the future (exactly what’s new here isn’t obvious, given Pokémon TCG Online has been out for some time now).