Nintendo reportedly working on a ‘Zelda’ smartphone game
This just in from Captain Obvious: Nintendo’s Zelda series is headed for smartphones.
It’s still just a rumor for now, so there aren’t many details to share. But a mobile device leap for one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises — which also happens to be extra-hot right now thanks to Switch and Breath of the Wild — is a no-brainer.
The rumor comes via unnamed sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal. “People familiar with the matter” suggest that a mobile take on Animal Crossing will come first, later in 2017, and the Zelda game will follow, presumably before Nintendo’s fiscal 2017 ends on March 31, 2018.
The same sources cautioned that scheduling for all of this could change — including both the release timing and the order in which new titles arrive.
Nintendo’s partnership to produce mobile games with DeNA — announced in 2015 — has so far led to three releases: Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and Fire Emblem Heroes. All three are, as Nintendo had originally promised, standalone experiences rather than ports of older games.
You can expect the same from a mobile Zelda game, but that’s about the only thing you can count on at this point All of the earlier releases carry an always-online requirement — i.e. you need to be linked to a network if you want to play — but Nintendo has faced enough criticism over this feature that the company could be compelled to (hopefully) rethink its strategy.
We know that announcements are coming, with the annual E3 trade show in Los Angeles just weeks away. Nintendo is expected to focus on hyping new content for its just-released Switch, but it’s not unreasonable to expect either or both Animal Crossing mobile details and confirmation of a mobile Zelda game’s existence (at the very least).
Nintendo hasn’t commented on the WSJ rumor and likely won’t, though we’ve reached out all the same and will update here if that changes.