Nintendo is rumored to be bringing The Legend of Zelda to smartphones before the end of 2017. Nintendo has gone from rejecting the very idea of mobile gaming, to dominating the space. The question is whether Nintendo can successfully bring the beloved Zelda series to smartphones.
This rumor comes courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, which cites sources familiar with Nintendo’s future plans. Unfortunately, details are thin on the ground, with the style of gameplay, business model, and release date all as yet unknown. Which is the big problem with rumors.
Nintendo Makes the Move to Mobile
Nintendo has enjoyed success with its move into mobile. First, there was Pokemon GO, an honest-to-goodness cultural phenomenon that took the world by storm, albeit briefly. Then came Super Mario Run, which, despite its hefty price tag, has performed well in a crowded market.
Most recently, Nintendo released Fire Emblem Heroes, a mobile spinoff of the popular Fire Emblem series. Next on the agenda is a mobile game based on Animal Crossing, which is due to be released in the next few months. And then, if these rumors are to be believed, a Legend of Zelda game.
Nintendo clearly feels it’s time for Link to make the transition to mobile. Which isn’t really surprising given how popular the series is, and how well the latest game, Breath of the Wild, has been received both critically and commercially. We suspect the mobile game will do just as well.
One sticking point may be the business model. Nintendo has tried both approaches so far. Super Mario Run is free for the first few levels, with the full game unlocked with a one-off payment. Fire Emblem Heroes, on the other hand, is free-to-play, with in-app purchases paying the bills.
The Legend of Zelda: Gamble
Zelda is one of the best video game franchises, with Link an iconic character. So, given its pedigree and the limitations of mobile gaming, bringing Zelda to smartphones is a gamble. Especially given the size and scale of the Zelda games released so far. Can Nintendo pull this off?
Are you a fan of Zelda games? If so, how do you feel about the prospect of playing Zelda on your smartphone? What is your favorite Zelda game of all time? How will Nintendo condense this epic series so it works on smartphones? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Holley and Chris Melton via Flickr