Nintendo has been notoriously absent from the App Store in terms of games. The world is collectively frothing at the mouth for an official Mario Bros. or Pokemon title they can sink their money into. The game company’s execs have made a point to exclude their most popular titles from mobile gaming. They seem to have a strategy, although it is hard to figure out what that is.
Seattle’s King 5 News recently interviewed Nintendo president/chief operating officer Reginald Fils-Aime who admitted that their early strategy of not touching mobile gaming might have been wrong. According to Fils-Aime, Nintendo is experimenting with apps that will launch on mobile devices, but are designed to redirect players to their branded hardware.
“We’re also doing a lot of experimentation of what I would call the little experiences you can have on your smartphone and tablet that will drive you back to your Nintendo hardware,” Fils-Aime told King 5 News. “It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented, but we’ve done little things where there’s some element of gameplay – a movement, a shaking, something like that.”
Don’t get too excited. This doesn’t mean that Nintendo will be porting Legend of Zelda to iOS anytime soon. In fact, it will likely never happen. Fils-Aime said Nintendo is still completely focused on keeping content on branded devices. “We believe our games are best played and best enjoyed on our devices,” he said, “and so the full game play will only be on Nintendo devices.”
In the coming year, be on the lookout for companion apps that will allow you to have some interactions with your Wii Miis, or a social networking service that will allow you to share your Super Mario 3D World scores with friends. Don’t, however, be on the lookout for Mario Cart on iOS. It’s just not going to happen. That’s OK, Rovio has made cartoon racing available on the iPad with Angry Birds Go.