It’s hard to predict exactly what 2018 will hold, but more Nintendo mobile games seems to be a pretty safe bet if a recent report from The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab) is anything to go by.
According to this report, Nintendo is looking to partner up with more mobile developers in order to raise the pace of its output after 2017 fell somewhat short of expectations.
Though Nintendo had originally planned to have five mobile titles on the market by March 2017 it currently only has four, with the delayed Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp being the most recent release.
Given that the company has only been working with mobile developer DeNA to achieve its lofty mobile goals, it’s not entirely surprising this mark has been missed. The Wall Street Journal states that, by partnering with a larger number of developers, Nintendo believes it’ll be able to release more games at a faster pace.
This move towards mobile is a significant stance change for Nintendo; not so long ago the company was staunchly opposed to bringing its famous franchises to mobile, preferring to focus on its own devices instead. However, it seems that Nintendo is now seeing the benefits of mobile releases.
Not only do these mobile titles diversify Nintendo's revenue streams, they also introduce those who primarily game on mobile to Nintendo titles, increasing the chances of them moving over to Nintendo’s hardware for more in-depth experiences.
Considering core Animal Crossing game sales have risen in Japan following the release of Pocket Camp, Nintendo’s strategy could prove to be a good one.
Puzzle and Dragons developer GungHo Online is among the companies Nintendo is said to be in talks with.
There is precedent for a mobile partnership as the two companies have previously worked together to license Mario characters for a Puzzle and Dragons on 3DS appearance. However, there’s been no confirmation from either party that any talks have taken place.
Unlike its partnership with DeNA, which involved purchasing a 10% ownership stake, the report states that Nintendo doesn’t have any intentions in investing in these future partners.
It’s not certain which other titles Nintendo would consider bringing to mobile – Mario Kart would be welcome – but if this report proves to be accurate it's likely we’ll see plenty more mobile announcements in the new year.