Japanese mobile game developer DeNA has always had a fairly high profile, but whatever we knew before, it’s peanuts compared to its visibility after the announcement that they would be partnering with Nintendo to bring the Japanese gaming giant’s properties to smartphones. There are suddenly more eyes on DeNA than ever before, and many of them are skeptical. While that’s not an unearned reputation, many people are imagining the DeNA of a few years ago rather than the DeNA of today. While they’re still putting out free-to-play games that fall along their traditional lines such as Blood Brothers 2, they’ve also been trying to serve a different audience, one that prefers more traditional experiences.
To that end, they recently commissioned ports of a number of well-regarded indie games from Steam, albeit with mysterious title changes. The wonderful physics platformer And Yet It Moves was released as Yet It Moves ($2.99), a game which I enjoyed very much when I reviewed it. Waveform, a tense action puzzler, saw release as Wavefront ($2.99). The other release in this line was Critical Mass, an unusual match-puzzle game that was titled Polyform ($2.99) in its iOS form. All of these games were released as premium paid titles without a lick of IAP in them. Perhaps as a celebration of their recent bread-breaking with Nintendo, DeNA will be giving away Polyform for the next week or so. From today until March 28, you can grab the whole game, no strings attached, for nothing at all.
Between these games and the excellent upcoming Square Enix collaboration, Final Fantasy Record Keeper, there’s a new side of DeNA showing, and I think it’s the one that people ought to keep in mind when they consider the company’s future with Nintendo. Neither company has anything to gain in the long run from tarnishing Nintendo’s franchises, after all, and the mutual investment between the two tells me they’re planning on making this a long-term engagement. That’s not to say there won’t be free-to-play games, because even Nintendo on its own has been dipping its pinkie toe in that particular pool. But I have a lot of confidence that both parties will ensure these treasured properties will receive the treatment they deserve. While we wait to see the first fruits of that partnership, why not enjoy a free premium puzzle game?