It's been a wild ride since Nintendo partnered with DeNA earlier this year, particularly as fans of both iOS gaming and Nintendo IP have been left with nothing but rumors and speculation since then. Most recently, well-connected industry veteran Dr. Serkan Toto said to expect the unexpected, and soon. Things get a bit more spicy this week, as The Wallstreet Journal is reporting the first Nintendo mobile game could come as easily as the next few days.

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Two key dates to be aware of in all this is next Wednesday and Thursday. Nintendo reports its earnings on Wednesday, and then briefs investors on their upcoming strategy on Thursday. Those particular days of the week coincide well when when iOS games are typically released, but even if we don't see the actual games themselves, it'd seem really odd to not at least be able to sniff out a few more details of what's coming and when. Additionally, historically speaking when it comes to Apple stuff, WSJ is incredibly well connected, so this whole thing seems to hold more water than other recent Apple/Nintendo rumors.

Either way, I guess we'll see next week.

[via WSJ]

  • Imagine2JL

    Please don't freemium game

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      There is nearly a 0% chance that this game won't have some kind of free to play element to it.

      • Dailon Huskey

        Hope so thanks Eli. It would be odd if the first time we find out the name of the game is when it's released to the store but I'm thinking that's what is about to happen. That would be cool and hard to believe that no one would say something. Looking forward to whatever game it is :)

      • Leguro

        Why would you hope its fermium?

      • Dailon Huskey

        I hope not I hate freemium :) sorry if I confused you but no I am very much wanting it to be premium!!!

    • nini

      It's going to have some level of IAP, don't think there's been any other assumption since the start of the partnership, might be in the sense of chapter purchases or regular old means of making money.

    • catsarecool

      I'd be OK if they had a free version to try and then unlock the full version if you like it. I just hope they don't follow Rovio's recent footsteps and give you the game for free, but pester you with constant in-app purchases. If I like it I'll buy it, but don't keep trying to sell me stuff after I buy the game.

    • Scott

      Rather, please don't be a game that Nintendo fans will be compelled to buy like they would a console game.

  • vid_icarus

    Nintendo has an odd habit of releasing games on Sundays so that could be when we see it drop

  • Aaron C

    Apple TV is also landing next week... this could be AWESOME πŸ˜‰

    • Dailon Huskey

      Good point and I plan on getting it ASAP that way I can make use of all these games I bought since I can't fit them all on my phone.

      • Tim Cant

        We gotta wait for stuff to be ported tho rite?

    • catsarecool

      Wonder if they worked out a deal to have some Nintendo games pre-loaded on there. That'd be cool. And it would help sell the ATV

      • Quazonk

        Helpful tip: No, it won't.

  • Tim Cant

    It'll be rubbish! /

    • Dailon Huskey

      We know nothing about it yet so how can make that statement as far as we know it could be a new premium Mario and then I think you would be taking back that comment. So hold off before you trash it.

      • Tim Cant

        I'd love to be optimistic but I've got a bad feeling about this. If it IS a decent game that's not consumable IAP-driven I'm 1000% in! :)

      • nini

        I'm still like 200% in should it have that type of thing, pretty resistant to it and don't need to put money in unless I choose to. Far less if it's paid and still has a near mandatory consumable IAP system.

    • Anthony

      You really think Nintendo's first mobile game ever is going to be some complete piece of crap? I find that hard to believe..

      • nini

        If it's free it'll be instantaneously panned as garbage. If it's not deep enough it'll be garbage then too, nothing less than a AAA game will do for some who are following this and if it's not a full and deep game then tables will be flipped.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        It's basically impossible for anyone around here to be happy with what they release. I'd love to be wrong on that, but, nearly 7 years of historical precedence has shown otherwise.

      • boydstr

        Fail is not an option for "N"must be a great game!!

  • Herbert Derps

    I would love to see something like Super Metroid on my iphone. πŸ˜€ or Fire Emblem. ^.^

    • boydstr

      "Super Metroid"!!!!!!!!!

  • eventide

    They'd be crazy not at least try a proper Pokemon game on iOS. Hopefully a NON freemium one but the property begs for micro transactions sadly.

    • Dvy G

      Try again. Pokemon Go is already slated for release 2016... πŸ˜‰

      Animal Crossing, anyone?

      • curtneedsaride

        Animal Crossing. Why not?! Other developers are making money off of that game's appeal on iOS already.

      • Arkais

        Pokemon Go is very much not a normal Pokemon game, though I am interested!

        Animal Crossing though...that is not only perfect for bite-sized play times, but would be so great to have in my pocket! It would destroy my life in all the best ways.

  • avocadobaas

    Even a remake of the first Mario for Gameboy would be in$tabuy for me.

    • curtneedsaride

      I'm am so with you on that one. I remember the day I played it. Unreal that Mario could be in my pocket.

  • CzarBrain

    Or a Mario game that... Plays Mario maker builds??

    With all their hits nearly being mobile already, (3ds or even wii u game pad) they have a chance to decimate the mobile market IF they don't follow the current freemium market trend. That's my two bits worth.

    • nini

      Dominate, not decimate, probably don't want to destroy the App Store. It'll do good but even a juggernaut like Minecraft isn't topping grossing charts, being premium or even having the right IP guarantees you a hit profit-wise.

      • nini

        Won't guarantee you a hit I mean.

      • CzarBrain

        Fair enough.

  • rtificial

    Is this where they explain to investors why the iPhone has a bigger HD than their wii-u?

  • Mrwubbs

    Wii version of punch out with swipe based controls. That would be awesome...

  • Quazonk

    I sadly think most of the commenters so far are shooting way too high :/ I hope I'm wrong but I'm just seeing F2P match-3 shenanigans

    • eventide

      Probably right. Something in the way of puzzle quest or puzzles and koopas etc

    • nini

      I think you're shooting way too low but expect the worst, hope for the best never hurt.

      • Quazonk

        I am hopeful that I am shooting too low and they give us something excellent, and who knows they may, just trying to temper my expectations.

  • sobriquet

    Putting Nintendo aside, DeNA's entire catalog is F2P with up to $100 iaps (if you can buy $100 worth of gems you will probably need them to get anywhere). This had to be factor in the decision to partner with them for mobile games. I still have my fingers crossed though.

  • Wizard_Mike

    I'm setting my expectations for Mario Shuffle or something equally underwhelming. I'll either be pleasantly surprised or not surprised at all, but I won't be disappointed.

  • boydstr

    Why is the F2P model so disliked and why there are so many F2P games?

    • curtneedsaride

      This is solely my opinion: When I have time to open my phone and play a game, I want to dictate what I play, how long I play, how much I spend, and how much fun I have. With a premium title, I can play it once I buy it, play as long as I like, never have to pay anything more, and it's fun because otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it!

      With a F2P title, I might get the IP I want but not the kind of game I want, the game tells me I have to stop playing because I run out of energy or stamina, or I can pay endlessly to play endlessly through IAP for energy and timer refills and tons of extras, and it usually tells me I have to open it every day to get something or whatnot. F2P titles usually become a chore to me

      And the BIGGEST complaint I have about F2P... It is never guaranteed to last. If the developer's servers go down, you can't play because it's usually online-only games that are F2P. And once they stop making enough money to keep the game supported... they'll pull the plug, and you'll never be able to play that game again because no one's going to port a F2P game to another device.

      So, all that time and money spent on it can never be revisited again. Games like the Dragon Quest ports will always be playable on some device. I imagine iOS only games like Infinity Blade will also find homes on devices in the future. However, some F2P games still work on iOS after servers are shut down, like Tiny Death Star. If a game can be played offline like that, I'm more likely to spend time with it. But I still have some F2P apps that I indulge in. I just don't like myself for it.

      I think there are so many F2P games because most people don't think like I do, and they don't have an attachment to games in the same way. So, they see it as a time killer. If it's free to download, they just get it. When they need to spend a couple bucks for something, no big deal. 250 somethings later, and they've spent as much as the wife and I spend on groceries in a month. It adds up, but if people are just casually throwing time and money at the games, they might get hooked eventually. And then they might become whales and minnows. The big and small spenders, keeping the app at the top of the charts. They can afford more costly advertising, everyone hears about it, and then they'll download it because, "Hey, it's free." But if you want to just sit there and build away until your heart's content in Game of War, it's not free. It's going to cost you. A lot.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Or you could play Game of War and never spend any money like the vast, overwhelming statistical majority of Game of War (and other free to play game) players.

      • curtneedsaride

        If it was fun, I could play offline, it gave me a comforting feeling that I know I could nostalgically tap into decades from now by playing it again, and I actually liked it's gameplay, then yeah, I could. But for me, it's not fun, is online, makes me feel like I'm not enjoying my time, and the gameplay in those types of games bores me. I feel like almost all F2P games would exist in a more enjoyable state if they were created to play, not to make billions of dollars from the overwhelming statistical minority. Shoot. Make both versions (a F2P version AND a premium version), and let us choose, I say.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        It's a good thing the App Store has hundreds of thousands of other games to choose from then. The reason free to play and premium versions of games don't exist is because people don't want to spend money, end of story. Every developer who has tried doing anything close to having both a free to play and "premium" option has lost their ass on the premium side.

        Seriously, I've yet to hear even a single success story from anyone who has been like "We made both a free to play version of our game and a premium version and man the premium version just exploded!" ...Or anything vaguely close to that, ever.

      • curtneedsaride

        Yeah, totally makes sense. I'm not debating the financial validity of F2P. Most people with smartphones aren't looking to spend $15 to play Final Fantasy VII in their pocket. They want something quick and free. But, as this was just my opinion in answering boydstr's question, it really doesn't matter what the facts are. My posts just explain why one guy dislikes F2P. Because I WANT to spend money on a lasting experience. So, I do. I So, maybe the question should be posed to you: why do you dislike F2P games, Eli? Anyone else can also chime in.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        The only thing I really dislike about free to play is the uncertainty of any level of permanence in the things you're buying, which is a major problem in mobile where games can (and have been) quickly abandoned when they stop making money. I typically only buy in to F2P games that have been around a while, like League of Legends, CS:GO, Hearthstone, and similar as there's a reasonable level of assurance there that the things I'm buying won't just up and vanish next week.

        Games getting shut down is hardly a free to play problem though, and is only going to become a bigger issue over time as more and more games (not just mobile games) are less self contained experiences and more just client for a massive online game as a service.

      • boydstr

        Thanks for your insights,It's great to see so many different views on my F2P question.b.t.w I prefer the paid once version also I played a so called F2P game and they used energy timers so I could play for 5minutes or paid up and there was in app purchase costing €75,- !! rather buy a pc or console game for that amount of money.

      • eventide

        Eli, if people don't want to spend money then why do f2p games do so well? And why do you champion the f2p model every time someone seems against it if no one wants to spend money on them?

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Free to play games do well because while 3-5% of the people who play these games might buy something, 0.1% of the player base spends an insane amount. ( http://developers.kongregate.com/blog/dont-call-them-whales-f2p-spenders-and-virtual-value )

        I like the free to play model, because for people like me, and other members of the 97-95% of non-payers, we're getting tons of really awesome games for free. I have more stuff on my phone right now than I can even play in a single day if I decided I was going to do nothing other than play iOS games. That's amazing.

      • dalurkersteve

        While there are a few freemium games that are legitimately good quality and value (those you listed are great examples of Freemium done right where the balance is around gameplay and paying is truly optional), it seems freemium on the whole is keeping the iOS platform from maturing. It's the evolution of the race-to-the-bottom pricing that has led developers to balance games not around the gameplay experience to the end user, but around trying to "incentivize" users to spend money.

        If 95% of the users are playing a bastardized version of the game, and the top .01% is paying ridiculous amounts for an "optimal" experience, it seems that there is no sweet spot--either you are getting a less than great experience for no money, or you're getting the "best" experience for way too much.

  • http://www.twitter.com/supaflyindie Supaflyindie

    Still unsure why F2P is viewed as such an evil monetization strategy right off the bat. Any model is fine with me as long as there is BALANCE, and all of my favorite mobile games do just that regardless of their model. In fact, I wish some games had IAP because I was willing to purchase extras without grinding for it, and I wouldn't have minded it at all because those extras weren't required to complete those games. As long as this Nintendo game isn't another generic match 3 puzzle, I'm inclined to say I'll end up enjoying it for what it is.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      It's because in the grand scheme of things, IAP is still pretty new. You saw the same tantrums, kicking, and screaming when DLC first started becoming a thing in the console world. Remember the "horse armor" jokes for years? Now people don't think twice about buying the $120 version of a game which includes the $60 DLC season pass.

      Mobile free to play games will walk a similar path, it'll just take time. Until then, well, we're in the thick of it.

      • http://www.twitter.com/supaflyindie Supaflyindie

        Yeah i guess that's the case with anything really, people just have a really really hard time accepting change

      • curtneedsaride

        Yup. It's getting worse the older I get. And I find I want innovation in some areas, and nostalgic old-fashionedness in others.

      • SupraMan21

        Lol oblivion joke I still bought it :3

      • Ragn4rok 74

        I did too. Hey it looked cool and if you rode a horse long enough you wanted a change lol!

  • borb86

    DKC Infinite runner? I'm down

    • eventide

      Dear God no.

    • Quazonk

      Ugh I'm not.

    • Stormourner of the Nature

      I'm up

  • SupraMan21

    I had a dream" it was super smash bros. and it was 15 bucks plz let me be able to see into the future :3

    • Quazonk

      God do I ever wish.

  • ramon31

    Why doesn't anyone remember that they said the game is going to be 'free to try'

    If this is the case it is going to be free but with game unlocks. The game is going to be a demo with iap to unlock levels.

    They utilised this method in there free Pushmo game earlier this year. This game gave 6 or 9 levels to play for nothing then you payed money for more. You received a discount if you purchased all the levels in bulk.

    So you can see that Nintendo are pushing the 'free to try' slogan, which is basically a demo.

    I can guarantee you it won't have nasty iap with heaps of consumable gems and coins.

  • Jay Gaming

    Actually one big Nintendo info site actually has some huge info to share this week :)

  • Dailon Huskey

    Just a thought but maybe they will be revealing the game itself and not releasing it next week but letting us know what it is. Either way can't wait

  • 김지 ν‚«λ°Έ

    I got my money rolling on this week. It's been too long since these rumors began and with Pokemon go coming out as a free to play, I feel we can expect a premium, but I just speculate of course. I also speculate it's a Metroid game or a mobile Mario party but I'm always wrong ( my wife tells me that)

  • louisa

    Anything with Mario and company would be my first choice and a platformef to boot for us old people who played Super Mario World back in the day. Ah, wouldn't that be some "back to the future" experience or not?

  • eventide

    Maybe it will be Super Mario RPG Mobile. I'd accept it as a F2P with a few micro transactions for power ups etc. But if it's energy/timer based...well they can go do bad things to themselves.

  • The Nothing

    Mario Kart 9: Online

  • AdamBoy64

    It'll be interesting to see what they come up with.
    And then what happens with the NX in the next 12 - 18 months.