Nintendo is planning to release up to three mobile games on an annual basis, the Japanese entertainment company revealed on Wednesday. While speaking at an internal business strategy meeting, the current Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said that the firm will have two to three mobile releases every year and revealed how 70 studios are already developing approximately 100 games for the upcoming Switch console.
Kimishima's announcement is in line with his comments from December when Nintendo's executive said that the Kyoto-based company will launch three mobile games over the course of this year. In addition to the Android port of Super Mario Run, Nintendo is also launching Fire Emblem Heroes and an Animal Crossing mobile game in the near future. The company's new mobile strategy stands in stark contrast to how Nintendo was doing business under the late Satoru Iwata who insisted that Android and iOS games would devalue the company's franchises and hurt its portable consoles business. However, the Japanese entertainment giant is now turning to mobile games not only to generate additional profits but also to increase its brand awareness and actively advertise its console business. Nintendo's current strategy doesn't entail developing mobile games that are comparable to its 3DS offerings but releasing somewhat simplified experiences that the firm believes are more suitable for playing on smartphones. Nintendo believes that this approach to mobile games minimizes the chances of devaluing its portable console business that's already getting intertwined with its home console operations, as evidenced by the fact that the upcoming Switch is a hybrid product.
The company's next mobile game titled Fire Emblem Heroes is hitting the Google Play Store tomorrow, February 2, while the Android port of Super Mario Run is scheduled to be released in March. Nintendo was also planning to launch its Animal Crossing mobile game during the first quarter of the year after delaying it last fall, but the company recently decided to push back that release to dedicate more resources to maintaining Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes post-launch. More information on Nintendo's new Android games is bound to follow soon as the company's mobile ambitions continue to grow.