Nintendo has just revealed some new but very, very small details about its first ever mobile game, like opening up pre-registrations. Suffice it to say, fans, not to mention investors, remain unimpressed. Perhaps sensing the disturbance in the force, the Japanese gaming giant tries to offer its remaining fans, and those putting money into the company, some hope. It’s next mobile game will be better. Why? Because it will involve a character that fans are already familiar with. Let the guessing games begin!
Miitomo, Nintendo’s first ever mobile game is both disappointing for a company known to be struggling to reclaim its place in the gaming market, but, at the same time, also not unexpected. For years Nintendo has been wary about even leaving a presence in mobile, fearing it would compete with its own gaming hardware. Miitomo, then, is a very, very careful first step, one that could backfire on Nintendo.
The “game”, if you could call it that, is basically a glorified chat app. It basically takes Nintendo’s Miis and plunges them into a social, chatting world. It is on par with Nintendo’s usually family-friendly approach and the company even advertises this as a game that could help build up shy people’s confidence in interacting with other people. Well and good but as far as gaming fans are concerned, it’s already a flop.
Investors seem to also see things that way. Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima immediately assures them that the next one won’t be another communication app. Nintendo and game developer DeNA did say that each of Nintendo’s promised 5 mobile games will be covering different genres and game types. They just never specified which ones.
Perhaps more important than not being a chat app, the revelation that the next game will revolve around a known character is going to be critical. Of course, Nintendo isn’t saying which, but most will most likely presume someone from the Super Mario or Zelda franchises. But Nintendo also has the likes of Pokemon and Donkey Kong to choose from. And given how unpredictable (or predictably disappointing) the company has been on mobile, it could actually be someone not so popular at all.
Regardless of who it is, we aren’t going to see it until much later in the year, or even in 2017, based on the timetable revealed by DeNA. However, it might be in Nintendo’s best interests to speed things up, especially if Miitomo turns out to be a dud.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal