Why Nintendo won’t bring Zelda, Mario to mobile

October 31, 2013
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The rise of mobile gaming, both on Android and iOS, has made game developers and publishers start to consider creating new games or porting their existing titles over to smartphones and tablets. One series of titles, however, remains an elusive dream on mobile devices, and Nintendo, who owns popular franchises such as Zelda and Mario, is saying that it's all a matter of business.

That certainly doesn't seem to be the case with other famous console games. The Final Fantasy titles, at least the classic ones originally on Nintendo consoles, are almost all available on Android thanks to the efforts of developer and publisher Square Enix. SEGA has also made available a variety of Sonic games on Google Play Store. While it seems quite possible for other publishers, the case of Nintendo is subtly different.

In relation to games such as Zelda, Mario, and others, Nintendo is in a unique position of wearing three hats all at once, that of game developer, game publisher, and gaming hardware manufacturer. In short, Nintendo makes not only the games, but also the device that you play it on. That is why, according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, the company focuses on keeping their games exclusive to their own hardware. To some extent, it makes perfect business sense, as Nintendo has to worry about its gaming platforms, both console and handheld, in addition to its games sales. Unfortunately, keeping the profits totally within the company's business didn't seem to help it in its third-quarter earnings.

Nintendo, however, isn't totally closing the doors on mobile devices, but only insofar as the road ultimately ends up on a Wii U, 2DS, or 3DS. According to Fils-Aime, the company is always considering ways to give smartphone and tablet users ways of enjoying bits and pieces of its games, as long as it drives these users towards their gaming hardware in the end.

VIA: DroidGamers


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  • Aleksey_US

    I’m confident they’ll be singing a different tune in 1-2 years.

  • shon

    They don’t wanna bring it to mobile ..because they don’t wanna make money

  • Mike Kister

    I see their point but that model is last decade. Not where the trend is heading.

  • The Genius

    Last decade!? For something thats last decade, the 3ds is doing DAM fine, but then again doing DAM fine is also last decade isnt it. And the 3ds is technically, a mobile handheld, so it makes zero sense to bring it over to another inferior handheld(ex. like mobile phone). Besides, it was nintendo that brought your so called gaming trend, mario was the start of the gaming trend, the nintendo 64 was a new trend to 3d platform game, the game boy color was for handheld games, the wii was for motion control game, and the ds brought touch screen. All the trend started at nintendo, that is why like Apple, they are allowed to do their own DAM thing, and that is also why sony and microsoft can do nothing but get led on by the leash.

  • mykie242

    Is this another “death of Nintendo hardware” editorial?

    Because reading regurgitations of the same failed prediction for the last 15 or so years got old long ago…