As users continue to pick up their smartphones and tablets in favor of their controllers for their home consoles, it's no wonder that companies like Nintendo are in trouble. Following the recent news of a drop in profits by as much as 61% for the 2016 Financial Year, Nintendo and their investors are clearly looking ahead to the future, and despite the fact that Nintendo is to keep its most popular characters locked away, they will have more in store for smartphones soon. Earlier this year, we saw Nintendo bring the Mii avatar system to smartphones with the new Miitomo game, and while this has proven to be something of a success and boosted confidence in Nintendo's future, the Japanese firm's investors are expecting more.
Smartphones and tablets are widely regarded as one of the most important platforms to get people interested in games, and while firms like Sony and Microsoft are cautious around mobile, they have apps and offerings available for mobile users. Unlike many however, Nintendo relies on their own first-party games and franchises to shift units of their hardware, and they don't offer games like Mario on the PS4, for example. This, combined with a lack of interest in the Wii U has put Nintendo in a less-than-stellar position for the future. During the announcement of their 2016 FY figures, Nintendo let slip that popular franchises, Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem, will be coming to smartphones towards the final quarter of 2016.
These two franchises have proven popular for Nintendo recently, and should help capture different demographics. Animal Crossing features colorful and charming characters and a high level of freedom to create and generally have fun, which should help capture younger players and the family audience while Fire Emblem should help capture RPG and strategy fans looking for something that hasn't come from Square-Enix for once. Whether or not these new games will be smaller alternatives like Miitomo was, or full-blown releases is unclear, but with their next home console not launching until March 2017, Nintendo is wise to get as much out of the smartphone and mobile market while it can.