Back in March, Nintendo revealed that they would finally be bringing its popular characters to mobile gaming, and not through ports of existing games, but original titles designed specifically for smartphones and tablets.
This news was comforting on some level, as it indicated that Nintendo was going to consider the platform in developing the games for it. However, it was also some cause for concern as visions of bland endless runners with Mario or fruit-matching games with Donkey Kong danced through our heads.
Yesterday Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata spoke to investors and revealed that Nintendo plans to bring five mobile games to market by March of 2017. He went on to say that “You may think it is a small number, but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business.”
While the question of how Nintendo will monetize its games remains (please just charge a flat price!), this should go a long way to alleviating concerns that these will be rudimentary games featuring Nintendo characters. It seems highly unlikely that Nintendo would take that kind of time to simply released skinned versions of the kind of IAP fodder we’re used to in Google Play.
Iwata did, however, make it clear again that one of the intentions with this program is to drive customers to “explore more premium experiences on our dedicated game systems….” What isn’t clear is what exactly makes for a “premium experience” in Iwata’s mind and it seems that we will just have to wait for the first of Nintendo’s mobile titles to hit to have that answer.