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Early last year, Nintendo teased fans about the Japanese gaming-giant’s forthcoming release of a “new game” for iOS. And with that announcement, the company’s loyal fan base went rampant with speculations of a fully-fledged Nintendo game — perhaps featuring a few of the most prominent franchise characters.
And while the prospect of a Kirby, Zelda, or Mario-themed iOS title kept these eager fans on their toes for many months thereafter, the good majority of them felt left in the lurch when, in October of 2015, the Japanese game-maker finally took the wraps off its “game” — a basic, social media-type platform known as Miitomo, featuring all its colorful “characters,” err, a collection of personal, virtual avatars, known as Miis.
Well, needless to say, a good amount of people were pretty ticked off about that one — even despite the fact the Miitomo has so far attracted a reasonably solid base of users in Japan and elsewhere. Even still, though, there’s no denying there was a reasonable amount of backlash that resulted from Nintendo’s failure to deliver something more along the lines of what the company has been bringing to the table for decades now on the console front.
Yet Nintendo, for its part, was quick to promise disappointed fans that it would be releasing “two additional titles featuring major characters” this coming fall. And last week, we got a glimpse of exactly what the Japanese gaming-giant has in store for smartphone and tablet users later this year — Fire Emblem, and Animal Crossing.
So yeah, while we’d obviously like to acknowledge that these offerings are popular titles in their own right — especially among Nintendo’s mobile gaming console users, and that they’re certainly a big step up from Miitomo, they are no Mario, or Kirby, or anyone else that the majority of Nintendo’s fan base was hoping for.
“So, what’s the deal?” you might be wondering.
Well, according to Nintendo CEO, Tatsumi Kimishima, the company has a definitive, outlined plan moving forward. As Kimishima himself indicated, “these titles were selected to follow Miitomo from the viewpoint of increasing the diverse types of consumers interested in Nintendo, and widening opportunities for gameplay.”
In other words, Nintendo is looking at these titles through the vantage point of the company adopting a bigger fan base for titles that run on mobile platforms — like iOS — over the course of time; and specifically, that these games appeal to the company’s biggest base of players, including women and children.
“The Animal Crossing series has been played by a wide range of consumers including children and women. I think there is a good chance that those consumers would enjoy this.”
It could be inferred from that statement that perhaps Nintendo is being sexist or selective — as if only women and children play Nintendo games, right? Or that only women and children make up Nintendo’s vast and diverse, international base of players. However, there’s no doubt that these titles are quite popular, and have attracted a rather large fan base over the years.
Kimishima stopped short of predicting what the future held for Nintendo in the iOS and mobile space, however he did stand tall and mighty beside his perceived viability of Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing as potential big winners for his company. He also touted that they’ll both be easily accessible, and offer users a great value in mobile gaming.
What are your thoughts about Nintendo’s titles that are coming this fall? Are you still holding out for an iOS version of Mario Kart, or is it time, perhaps, to bust open that piggy bank of yours and just buy an N64 on eBay? Let us know what you think in the comments!