Nintendo is famous for its console and handheld systems — including the Wii and the recently released Switch — and its signature game franchises, including the Mario and Legend of Zelda games.
But the company has been slow to adapt to non-native technologies. It only made its first foray into smartphone gaming last December with the release of Super Mario Run, but seems to be ramping up its focus on mobile games. The company is currently working on a mobile version of its Animal Crossing game series.
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that the Animal Crossing mobile game would likely be released at the end of 2017, with a mobile Legend of Zelda game to follow. Nintendo is partnering with Tokyo-based DeNA Co. on its mobile game development.
The most recent Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, has been a runaway success since its concurrent release with the Switch in late March. In the U.S., Nintendo sold more copies of Breath of the Wild for the Switch than it sold Switch consoles, a puzzling statistic that points to the strength of the Zelda franchise.
Nintendo — whose North American headquarters is located in Redmond, Wash. — is also a close affiliate and shareholder of the Pokémon company, whose mobile game Pokémon Go was a runaway success last year. Nintendo has a 13 percent “effective economic stake” in Pokémon Go, according to Bloomberg.