Report: Nintendo Developing The Legend of Zelda for Smartphones

A new report (via The Wall Street Journal) is pointing to Nintendo expanding their smartphone releases with a new game based on The Legend of Zelda.

The report cites “people familiar with the matter” within Nintendo and DeNA. The sources points to the previously announced Animal Crossing mobile game launching in the second half of this year, with a mobile The Legend of Zelda game coming afterwards.

As with any rumors, please take this with a grain of salt. However, what would you like to see in a mobile The Legend of Zelda game? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • Valwin Mediaz

    Not even zelda is safe

  • Anon_Amous

    Seems like a bad fit but we’ll see.

  • garf02

    >Its a rumor
    >a heavy time consuming game like Zelda
    thats not how it works

  • Matz

    The big question is the plan that Nintendo may have for this game, Mario Run was clearly a bad idea and didn’t bring enough money to Nintendo’s Pocket, and I also don’t see how could they make a Gasha Game like FE Heroes

  • garf02

    >I dont see how
    Grand Order

  • Please no. In case you didn’t know Intelligent Systems was the leading dev in FE Heroes.
    That’s why it was decent. I don’t expect much from this after the dumpster fire of Super Mario Run’s pricing.

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    SMR was developed by same people that worked at New Super Mario Bros series. So putting aside the price it’s a very good game.

  • catazxy

    It’s safe to assume that every nintendo ip will get a smartphone version

  • Uncle Ocelot

    I think it was safe to call this the moment Nintendo announced that they’d be doing smartphone games.

  • Chocolate ISISCream

    Nintendo is yet again tapping into a very huge market of gamers (mobile) in order to secure funds towards Breath of the Wild 2. It’s an extremely smart strategy. Why do people keep looking at this negatively?

    Think about it like this:

    Why develop BOTW2 with the scope of BOTW using BOTW sales revenue when you can double the scope using BOTW + Zelda Mobile revenue?

  • Eden

    They could always go the Square Enix route and put Zelda 1 on mobile, but I doubt they’d do that.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    To be fair, we did just get one of the best Zelda games recently. I predict this will be some shitty arcade type game to cash in on Japan’s huge mobile market.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    The only way I can see this working is if its a target shooting game.

  • totenglocke

    Originally I was opposed to nintendoswitch making mobile games, but then I realized that they’re getting casuals to subsidize game development for the real gamers.

  • Source? Seriously, I want to know. I was only able to find “jointly developed by DeNA and Nintendo”

  • RandomDev

    My thumbs do not approve of this

  • DrearierSpider
  • DrearierSpider
  • Uncle Ocelot

    But there’s 4 of them? 5 counting Hyrule Castle?

  • DrearierSpider

    That’s a shit comparison, the 4 Majora dungeons were some of the best in the series. Not to mention the incredibly unique setting, art style, themes, world building, etc. The ones in BotW barely qualify as dungeons at all, and the shrines were all over the place quality wise, with the majority being tedious or outright bad.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    You’re gonna tell me that Skyward Sword and Phantom Hourglass get a pass because they had dungeons?

  • Uncle Ocelot

    To be honest I haven’t even played BOTW yet, so I wouldn’t really know about their quality. I will concede that Majora’s dungeons are probably better though.

  • Jumanji Joe

    So far we got
    1). Handhelds not coming with a ac charger
    2). DLC out the ass
    3). Locked game content on happy meal toys
    4). Season passes
    5). In game advertisements
    6). Cell phone games filled with microtransactions
    7). Censorship
    8). More rehashes
    9). Overpriced low quality consoles
    10). Multiple versions of the same console released in rapid succession sometimes even with exclusive titles

    MUH nintendomination you guys!!!

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Honestly, even though I love Majora’s Mask, I felt that the three day limit kind of stifled the dungeons a bit, I felt like I always had to speedrun them. My favorite part of the game personally is the large amount of content in the world.

    BOTW may not have the ALTTP formula of 3 dungeons + master sword + 5 more dungeons, but it still manages to be great game on its own without that, the same way Majoras Mask is.

  • InkViper

    So, does Phil Spencer pay you by the post or by the quantity of hyperbolic rhetoric?

  • RichardGristle

    I-It’s all just part of Nintendo’s genius plan for market domination!

  • InkViper

    The new Zelda on mobile will be a rhythm tap game, plus microtransactions.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    What I see coming is 4 swords but with randomly generated dungeons and gacha weapons and outfits with legacy character skins/voices being sold directly if not at Andira level gacha rigging.

    Maybe will even make a little customizable house for your character that starts off as a treehouse with the furniture bloating up the gacha even more. Hell, throw pets into the shop or gacha too.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Before proceeding to dumb the games down for casuals and attempt to milk even more from the disc locked DLC.

  • Anonymoose

    I have a sneaking suspicion it will be some sort of mogarbage and not an Oracle of Seasons.

  • Sean Sharpe

    But there’s at least eight “dungeons”; the four divine beasts, the three labyrinths, and Hyrule Castle. While small the Divine Beasts are the best designed dungeons in a Zelda game, too.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Personally, it’s my favorite Zelda game. That being said, I love it because it feels like its a sequel to the first Legend of Zelda game rather than a sequel to everything that followed it.

    If you want something that continues the style that started with Link to the Past, you’re going to be very disappointed.

    If you’re someone that wanted to see the series return to its roots, while taking what the developers have learned from other games, I’d wager you’d like it a lot.

  • Lucky

    “FE Heroes”

    Have to verbally disagree, but I do agree in the sentiment that this game will inevitably suck.

  • Sean Sharpe

    So… Basically, you hate the entire modern video game industry? Since they all do this shit.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Breath of the Wild is the least “dumbed down” Legend of Zelda game released since the Adventure of Link and the “disc-locked DLC” is inferior to pretty much every bit of actual in game content.

  • DrearierSpider

    Shills for mobile trash, yet hates PC ports. You’re taking peasantry to a whole new level ISIS.

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    Even at Wikipedia and Nintendo Wikis is mentioned.

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    WarioWare smartphone game? Count me in!

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    Super Mario Run sure has lots of microtransactions.

  • Feniks

    Makes sense Switch is smartphone architecture.

  • Funny, that’s where I looked too.

  • Jumanji Joe

    Actually, Billy Gates pays me to shill for the dudebox 420.

  • CRES

    See, THAT would actually work. Zelda and Fire Emblem, not so much.

  • InkViper

    yeah, sure you are buddy.

  • Fenrir007

    This is a good strategy, yeah. Instead of trying to make casual games on your console to secure the casual market money, keep it separated and make it for smartphones where casual players flock naturally for mad dosh at low costs.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    Actually, it could work, but its very unlikely to be anything more than a spin-off. Anyone remember Link’s Crossbow Training?

    I would bet it’ll either a puzzle game with each one being a room in a ‘dungeon’, or one of those hack ‘n slash style action games.

    Strategy and tactical RPGs like Fire Emblem fit really well on mobile, better than many other genres. Not that I would want a main series game on mobile of course, but it makes the most sense gamplay-wise.

  • CRES

    The thing is I’ve played Fire Emblem Heroes and it is the most stripped down version of Fire Emblem I have ever played. So stripped down that there is hardly any actual strategy left in the game. You can only bring 4 characters into a battle against 4 other characters and the only information you have going into the fight is what weapons they have. No info about whether you’ll be fighting Pegasus Knights, or Armored character, or even where you’re starting position is going to be. One fight has your characters split up into different sections each facing off against one other opponent, and if your Axe user is up against that Sword user you are screwed. Fights themselves turn into one-on-one duels because of how low your movement its (most characters can only move 2 squares unless they are mounted) and it is solely down to numbers, how good are your numbers versus your opponent’s numbers.

    And that isn’t even going INTO the entire “Gacha” slot machine system that EVERY phone game has. You get Orbs at an extremely slow rate and you are 99% of the time guaranteed to get another boring Fates character than some one whom you actually like (like Tiki).

    And honestly THAT’S why no matter how profitable the mobile market is, it will NEVER be a legitimate competitor to console or handheld gaming so long as developers continue to treat their mobile games as money milking Skinner Boxes.

    At least with Warioware the games within are simple and basic by design.

  • UnpluggedBeta

    Those aren’t dungeons; they were mini zones at best. The game’s engine clearly doesn’t allow for real dungeons if you look at the layout of all the areas.
    (I still loved the game)

  • UnpluggedBeta

    I like the game, but I don’t see how it returns anything to its roots; the game is a pretty big paradigm shift for that series in a number of ways.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    They aren’t trying to compete though, especially not something like Fire Emblem Heroes, which has it’s main entries on consoles.

    Nintendo is treating mobile games like an appetizer, which is why its so simplified.

    But, I think the reason most companies don’t take mobile games seriously is because the consumers don’t.

    Most people treat them as time wasters, they play simply because they can. Many won’t buy games, and I recall hearing most refuse to pay more than $5.

    That’s why they milk micro- transactions. Most of the actual profit comes from ‘whales’, a handful of big spenders.

  • CRES

    But then why does every news outlet seem to think that consoles and handhelds will die and mobile gaming will take over?

  • Zombie_Barioth

    Because news outlets make guesses based off trends, the same as analysts.

    They only look at the numbers and activity, which leaves out the context.

    They’ve also predicted the death of PC, physical media, and even Nintendo among other things for the past 20 years. None of it has happened.

  • Sean Sharpe

    It was different than post-Link to the Past titles and the direction the franchise took from that point on… Especially from Ocarina of Time and on. I won’t argue that…

    But those aren’t the roots I’m talking about. I’m talking about the very first Legend of Zelda game… A game it emulates very well, in my opinion. Sure, it has a lot of updated mechanics but it’s the Zelda game I wanted since the series jumped 3D.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Eh, the engine could handle them easily. At the very least, they could just make different entrances like the shrines have if they wanted.

    Likewise, I can’t see why they couldn’t upscale the divine beasts either. (Although I imagine if they did so, the design would turn from fun to tedious.)

    They just chose to do things differently for better of for worse.

  • UnpluggedBeta

    If you look at the various outdoor locations, especially Hyrule Castle, it becomes apparent that there is some sort of limitation to having multi-level, “vertical,” for want of a better descriptor, architecture. The ceiling is always flat and essentially featureless. This is starkest in Hyrule Castle (especially above the library and underground dock), but it’s easiest to go to the forgotten temple or any of the mazes for the most conveniently reachable examples. There are countless others for minor locations as well.