Nintendo Explains Why It Chose 'Animal Crossing' and 'Fire Emblem' as Next Smartphone Games

by

Last week, Nintendo announced that the next two games launching on iPhone and Android devices will be Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem related applications, but didn't speak much to its reasoning behind that decision. In a subsequent financial results briefing Q&A, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima gave some explanation as to why the company decided to prioritize these franchises as its next line of smartphone titles (via Engadget).

Kimishima began by stating that Nintendo chose Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem as the first two "real" game applications "from the viewpoint of increasing the diverse types of consumers interested in Nintendo, and widening opportunities for game play." Animal Crossing, specifically, will net the company a wider swath of player demographics considering its titles in the past have won over non-gamers with its trademark laid-back gameplay.

nintendo_iphones

We chose Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem as titles to follow Miitomo from the viewpoint of increasing the diverse types of consumers interested in Nintendo, and widening opportunities for game play. 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.

Interestingly, Kimishima appeared to somewhat dodge the initial question asked (Is Animal Crossing a title that places emphasis on the synergy with dedicated video game systems?), which is the main concern of some series fans as Animal Crossing transitions to mobile.

In the original announcement, Nintendo said the iPhone version of the game will somehow connect to a console-based game and that by playing both, "users will find increased enjoyment." It's still unclear whether this means Animal Crossing iOS will be a full-fledged title, or some kind of accessory experience, similar to series spin-offs like Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival.

The company's decision to introduce Fire Emblem onto mobile seems to be a move entirely focused on finally placating its "die-hard fans," who have been excited about the possibility of Nintendo games on smartphones since the announcement early last year. Still, no specific reason was given why Nintendo chose Fire Emblem over other similarly popular pure gaming franchises, like Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda, but most of that might lie in the company's fear of diluting such well known games onto a platform that's not yet proven it could work as a location of Nintendo's top-tier titles.

Kimishima reminded those at the briefing that, moving forward, there is no limit to the potential IPs used in its mobile games, so fans might see more recognizable characters before the fifth Nintendo app launches by March 2017.

As for Fire Emblem, it is not so much the width of the audience as the existence of die-hard fans who have stuck to the series for a long time. We selected two titles of different categories and IP to reach as many consumers as possible. We are not limiting the IP for the titles that will follow these two. We will continue to prepare titles using IP that many consumers are familiar with.

Kimishima also discussed the potential for in-app purchases in its upcoming applications, saying that the implementation of IAPs will essentially change on a game-by-game basis: if its player base is seen as possibly willing to spend more money, then the company will support the feature. Ultimately, Nintendo's president assured those who are apprehensive about its plan to delve into the smartphone application space by reiterating the company's current goal is "to grow smart device gaming as one of the pillars of Nintendo's revenue stream."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
57 months ago
When you have to explain why you chose something it's a bad sign, honestly, people want Mario on their phones.

Just give us Mario.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

Omg, Nintendo it's very easy. Make Mario kart and you get instant money. It will sell like crazy.

"Omg, Apple it's very easy. Make OS X for PCs and you get instant money. It will sell like crazy."

I always find it funny how MR people completely understand why Apple believes a top to bottom environment produces a better experience but lambast Nintendo for doing the same. Apple and Nintendo have surprisingly similar corporate cultures. (And they both struggle with online services!)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Give me Mario
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Oy. I feel like every article I read on this is written by journalists that have never played these games.

When I see articles saying "Why Animal Crossing or Fire Emblem over Mario or Zelda?" I find myself sighing. The reason is extremely obvious: user experience.

Mario's traditional format straight up doesn't work well on iOS. Try playing any NES games that have been released on iOS, like Capcom's Megaman games. It works very poorly. Or try playing it in an emulator. A controller is basically required, and mobile is really popular right now (particularly in Asia) because people like to whip out their phones briefly on the subway or in line etc.

Even the 3D Mario titles would play poorly. Zelda could be stretched to work ("Phantom Hourglass" style control scheme) but would still be an inferior experience with your finger obscuring the character (Zelda: PH was designed for stylus, and not that popular).

But Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem? These games are PERFECTLY suited for mobile. I am a very strong proponent of "the 3ds is a much better overall gaming platform than iOS for good quality games" (physical controls are just necessary for some genres), and Fire Emblem is one of the few games I really wish was on mobile because it'd be a good experience. It's a turn based strategy game and great to pop in and out of while you go about your day. Think Chess X Age of Empires with RPG elements.

Two weeks ago my wife, running through her first play through of Fire Emblem Awakening on 3ds, asked me why Nintendo hasn't released it on iOS yet because it was such an obvious fit. I had to explain how stubborn Nintendo is as a company about controlling its hardware set (like Apple) and that it would probably never happen. Boy do I feel sheepish!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Omg, Nintendo it's very easy. Make Mario kart and you get instant money. It will sell like crazy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
I'll personally be buying Fire Emblem. Good move Big N!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 6 With SpO2 Tracking and All-Screen iPad Air Coming at 'Time Flies' Event, Apple Silicon Macs by November

Monday September 14, 2020 5:20 am PDT by
Apple is set to host a virtual event on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, and ahead of time, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has outlined his expectations for new product announcements both tomorrow and in the months to follow. Gurman, who has a very strong track record, reiterated that this Tuesday's event will be focused on the introduction of new Apple Watch Series 6 and iPad Air models, adding...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...