Nintendo could be bringing the hugely popular Legend of Zelda franchise to mobile devices, with a launch penned before March 2018.
A report by Wall Street Journal suggests that Nintendo is developing a Legend of Zelda game for smartphones. The title is likely to follow the upcoming mobile release of Animal Crossing, which is expected to arrive in the later half of 2017. This coincides with plans recently announced by Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima, who said last month that the company plans to release two to three new smartphone games in the financial year ending March 2018.
Nintendo has already made a strong foray into the mobile market, with its Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run entries receiving positive response from fans. The latter has been downloaded over 50 million times on Android alone. Both of these games have quite different payment strategies (in-app purchases and one-off payments respectively), so it will be interesting to see what approach Nintendo takes with Zelda. Personally, we believe that a one-off payment would make more sense for the franchise, allowing developers to implement a proper story-driven title similar to what we’re used to. Animal crossing on the other hand is perfect for in-app purchases.
Zelda is a rather complex title with sophisticated controls and gameplay that lends itself to joypad use. Implementing this style into a smartphone game will prove a challenge, but the company has previous experience on touch controls, having released Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks on the 3DS.