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Report: Nintendo working on a Legend of Zelda smartphone game

The new title is expected to follow the upcoming Animal Crossing mobile game and may arrive in 2018.

Published onMay 15, 2017

Nintendo is working on a Legend of Zelda mobile title for smartphones, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal said the new game is being co-developed by Japanese developer DeNA and would follow Nintendo’s Animal Crossing mobile title, which it stated would arrive in the “latter half” of 2017.

Earlier this year, Nintendo said it aimed to release two to three mobile games per year. Mario Run was first launched in December on iOS, so with Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing under its belt for 2017, there could be room for another product. That said, it seems highly likely that the Zelda smartphone game would follow in 2018 — Nintendo is already behind on the Animal Crossing development and two new titles in the next six or so months seems like a stretch.

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The Wall Street Journal didn’t mention any details with regards to Zelda mobile’s content or payment structure — but I’d guess it would be free to play with in-app purchases. Fire Emblem has been by far the most lucrative Nintendo title (Niantic-developed Pokémon Go notwithstanding) and it features the aforementioned payment model. Super Mario Run, on the other hand, has a $9.99 fee after the first few levels — and it didn’t meet company expectations with regards to revenue.

The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most successful franchises and has seen steady releases since 1986. It has also been made mobile on various Nintendo handheld consoles — and taken advantage of their unique capabilities. Here’s hoping the smartphone version can achieve something similar.

What are your thoughts on the prospect of a Zelda title on Android? Let us know in the comments.

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