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

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 3, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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.
    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."

    Article Link: Nintendo Explains Why It Chose 'Animal Crossing' and 'Fire Emblem' as Next Smartphone Games
  2. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    I'll personally be buying Fire Emblem. Good move Big N!
  3. richxps macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2008
  4. LordQ Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
    Fire Emblem on iPhone was long overdue, good move!
  5. nikicampos macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2011
    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.
  6. vertsix macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2015
    Miitomo was cute and fun for about two or three weeks, then it kinda died for me.

    I hope these next apps are entertaining for a longer amount of time.

    Fire Emblem Fates was great, and I'd like so see something similar.
    --- Post Merged, May 3, 2016 ---
    They are not going to water down their most valuable IP anytime soon.
  7. Planey28 macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Birmingham, UK
    They've already said that their smartphone releases will not be full games and will act as companions to the main series, so I think you have your answer on whether Animal Crossing iOS will be the full thing...
  8. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    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!
  9. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Nintendo is simply hedging their bet by slowly testing the waters of mobile gaming. They're holding 1st rate IP back to 1. Avoid cannibalizing their hardware sales. 2. Gauging their reception in the mobile space and testing to see what consumers want. I imagine they'll intro several different categories to see what gets the best reception. 3. Most importantly, they are building anticipation. The first releases are there to whet the appetite for the big titles.
  10. M3nn0 macrumors newbie


    May 3, 2016
    Can Apple please takeover Nintendo? Then we can finally have proper games on our iPhones. My guess is the payback time is a few months and there is a high potential for portable game console hardware cooperation. But who am I lol.
  11. Jakeoster macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2010
    Animal Crossing should work very well on a smartphone.

    How about Pokemon Red/Blue too?
  12. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    I think they are just dipping their toes in the water, but really they won't get a proper idea of how successful selling their most popular games on smartphones would be unless they try it with one of the true big-name titles. Which I think they will as soon as they have a console that properly flops.

    Still, a step in the right direction I think.
  13. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Kimishima did not dodge the question at all. He just refused to answer a question that was already answered previously.
    We know these mobile games will just be companions to the actual games. People keep asking the same already answered questions.
  14. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Omg, Nintendo it's very easy. Make Mario kart and you get instant money. It will sell like crazy.
  15. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I've never played a Fire Emblem game because I've never bought Nintendo's portables (I love their consoles to death though) - I'll almost certainly buy it on iOS though.
  16. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    "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!)
  17. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    I think I'm annoyed that 1) there are people who believe that Nintendo should place their main IP on mobile (dude, they have to sell their portable console line too you know! not to mention you can't play games like that without a controller!) 2) there are people who believe that Nintendo making games for cell phone means that they are ruined and there will never be a non-f2w game on a home console, and 3) that there are people who say that Nintendo and Apple should cooperate. Are you joking?! Nintendo and Apple are like the total opposite! Nintendo produces cheap, mid-quality and weak hardware to prioritise entertainment exclusively and Apple produces expensive, excellent-quality, and high-tech hardware exclusively for, how should I call it, "computer things".
  18. Jakeoster macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2010
    Not everyone is for sale at all times or would stick around if they were taken over. The creative folks and the franchise IP are the important ones. The hardware teams and the rest, not so much.
  19. WordsmithMR macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2015
    Insinuating that they haven't watered it down already. Also platformers suck on mobile.

    No. For one, I don't see them adding roms of old games. Secondly, while it may be Gamefreaks IP, The Pokemon Company is releasing Pokemon Go soon enough. Which is partly owned by Nintendo.
  20. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    Put Zelda on the ATV and my wife may hate nintendo (and me) as I take over the TV to play.
  21. Jakeoster macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2010
    Well, there is a low investment, high return opportunity here that would certainly sell. If they want to avoid it, they'll avoid it until they can't ignore it anymore.
  22. janderson0719 macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2011

    Get out of the hardware business and just put your software out on all platforms.

    Get over this obsession to make "revolutionary" hardware.

    You'll make more money.
  23. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor


    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2015
    I've been playing games since I was four, and I totally understand what you mean. But I still think a smartphone version of Mario and Zelda could work, it just wouldn't necessarily be the typical game style we come to expect from the franchises. It could still be for their "die-hard fans," but I don't think any of these games will be exactly what we've come to expect from their console titles. Fire Emblem, admittedly, will probably be the closest.

    Mario, for example, could be something like Super Mario Maker where the emphasis is on creation over straight-up gameplay. I'm also not as bothered by sidescrollers on iOS as some might be. Maybe the game wouldn't be as precise and nimble as the main games, but they could just adjust the difficulty and stage design for mobile and make something fun for the bite-sized gameplay of iOS. Introduce daily stage challenges, friends ghosts, etc.

    You compared Zelda with Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, but I think even going as far back as the originals - or like A Link Between Worlds - would be awesome on mobile. Sure an on-screen joystick would be weird, but I for one would be willing to make a lot of compromises to be able to play most of these games on my iPhone, as long as the Nintendo quality is kept up.

    But, honestly, my current only hope is that Animal Crossing IS Animal Crossing, and not just some sideshow add-on to a console game.
    --- Post Merged, May 3, 2016 ---
    Not necessarily, they never said Fire Emblem would be a companion, just Animal Crossing. Which is what makes it seem like conflicting messaging to me. They call AC a "companion," but reiterate that both of these games are "pure gaming experiences." The problem lies in Nintendo's definition of a pure gaming experience, and mine.
  24. mzeb macrumors regular


    Jan 30, 2007
    Fire Emblem with touch interface makes a lot of sense. I'm looking forward to it.
  25. ElixirThief macrumors newbie


    May 3, 2016
    1: OS X is made for PCs

    2: OS X is free and doesn't "sell"

    3: There is nothing special about Nintendo hardware which makes it better for playing overly simplistic Nintendo games. The fact they are making iOS and Android games proves that.

    Nintendo's main draws were, they had a console not called Atari, and they had a bunch of lovable characters.

    When was the last time you heard these words spoken un ironically:

    "Wow, that Nintendo console is really amazing"

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