Nintendo is developing a Legend of Zelda game for smartphones, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The game is likely to be released following the upcoming mobile version of Animal Crossing, which is expected to arrive sometime this year. Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima said last month that the company plans to release two to three new smartphone games in the financial year ending March 2018.
The WSJ report doesn’t offer any details on the new Zelda title, nor whether it’ll follow the one-time fee approach of Super Mario Run or the free-to-play model of Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo’s two previous mobile games. But the identification of the franchise alone will be enough to get many Nintendo fans excited.
The Legend of Zelda’s critical standing is higher than it’s been in decades, following the hugely successful Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch and Wii U, as well as the inventive A Link Between Worlds for 3DS a few years previously. Making the relatively complex controls of a Zelda game work well on a smartphone could prove a challenge, though Nintendo did create two full-on Zelda titles for the DS that were entirely controlled by touch: Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.