After much waiting, it looks as though Nintendo has finally revealed its next game for mobile devices.
Over the past year, the company has been rolling out its plans for mobile gaming and it seems like they’ve been paying off. Mobile gaming has quickly ballooned into a multi-billion dollar market and if gaming companies today want to continue to stay competitive, it is vital for them to stake their own claim to a piece of this enormous pie. Nintendo is no exception.
Following the disappointment of the Wii U, Nintendo has been in desperate need of a new hit and it has been banking on mobile to provide that. Nintendo originally stated last year that it was going to release five different mobile games by March 2017. Now, the number of promised games has changed to four because of market conditions and snags in the development process for one of the proposed titles.
The first game in Nintendo’s planned mobile expansion was social platforming game Miitomo, which arrived this past spring. While it garnered a large amount of initial interest, it was unable to retain fans and most users quickly left the app after a month or two. Miitomo served as an interesting experiment in social interaction but failed to have the necessary appeal to keep people playing after the initial novelty wore off.
Pokemon Go, contrary to popular belief, is not actually one of the four mobile games that Nintendo has planned. While Nintendo does have some stake in The Pokemon Company, the runaway success of the game will have little effect on the publisher’s bottom line. The overnight success of the game caused investors to quickly drive Nintendo’s stock to incredible heights, rising more than 120 percent at the time of the game’s release. Of course, the stock went back down to slightly above-average levels after the company reminded investors that it does not own Pokemon. That being said, it definitely still benefits from the added publicity.
However, Nintendo has finally announced its second official mobile game and it’s none other than the company’s most recognizable property next to Pokemon. Mario will make his way to mobile devices in the form of an endless runner game called Super Mario Run. It has been described as an autorunner where players will control the plumber as he springs from left to right while gamers tap the screen to avoid (or jump on) enemies, collect coins, jump over gaps, and more. It basically features the gameplay of a classic Mario title, but with the character automatically sprinting through the levels. The early gameplay videos look like a lot of fun and it could be the success that Nintendo so desperately needs. The game is set to hit iOS devices this December.
Mobile games are massively popular and with the number of smart phones currently available in the market, the medium boasts a user base in the hundreds of millions, far more than those seen on traditional consoles or PCs. These games come in an incredible variety of styles that range from the aforementioned runner titles to puzzle games to more traditional casual games that anyone can jump in and quickly enjoy. Through the use of an amazing array of themes that include everything from movies to comics to more simple settings, online platforms provide unique spins on familiar games for browsers and mobile devices that are able to easily appeal to mass audiences. In a way, that’s exactly what Nintendo is trying to do. It’s taking its most popular character and making it attractive to potential players that haven’t owned a console or are too young to remember the Mario games of old.
The market for mobile gaming is only going to continue to grow as smart phones continue to become more ubiquitous. We’ve already covered the announcement of the latest iPhone and as bigger and better devices keep being released, the games will become more robust and complex. Super Mario Run has the potential to be a big hit for Nintendo and we can’t wait to see how things work out when the game hits the App Store this winter.