Busy days for Japanese gaming giant Nintendo. They’ve just surprised the whole world by partnering with Apple to launch a new game in Super Mario Run. Gone are the days of indignant resolve, saying Nintendo games will never feature in non-Nintendo platforms. But one feels that the decision to bed in with Apple and the iPhone 7 launch was a decision made on the fly, and the subsequent delay of the launch dates of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem – games that were announced much earlier – tell part of the story.
Imagine how surprised we were at the major gesture of having top Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto personally launch Super Mario Run at the Apple’s recent launch event. This was a calculated risk from the management of Nintendo, and it shows us that the gaming giant is diving in headfirst into mobile gaming. Super Mario Run was launched out of the blue, ahead of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem, which were already calendared as the next Nintendo mobile games to come out.
Nintendo now admits that as a result of the surprise launch of Super Mario Run, the launch dates of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem have been delayed. “Based on a variety of factors, we felt it was most appropriate for Super Mario Run to launch ahead of these other two apps,” the company said in a statement. “Our Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem titles for mobile will launch before the end of our fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2017.”
So Nintendo is now in waist deep into the competitive waters of mobile gaming, with Super Mario Run also scheduled to get an Android version. When Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem launch on or before March 2017, that will give Nintendo four mobile gaming apps out. So much for “taking it slow”.