E Nintendo Tries Pokémon Go Repeat With Legends Of Zelda

Last summer Japanese game maker Nintendo (NTDOY) had a smash hit on its hands with Pokémon Go, the mobile game that won the hearts and minds of countless people all over the globe. Who can forget the tales of people falling off cliffs or getting hit by cars all in the name of Pokémon Go.

Nintendo is apparently trying to repeat that success, gearing up to bring “The Legend of Zelda” game franchise to smartphone users around the world. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which citing people familiar with the matter, reported Monday that a mobile version of “Legend of Zelda” will come in the second half of the year after the release of a mobile version of “Animal Crossing,” which Nintendo already announced.  It’s not clear how much Nintendo will charge for the game or if it will make it free to download banking on users making in-app purchases similar to the strategy with Pokémon Go.

The move on the part of Nintendo to roll out a mobile take on the “Legends of Zelda” game comes at a time when the Japanese game maker is aiming to increase sales from mobile games. It’s something the other game makers have been having huge successes with.  It’s also hoping to lure more causal game players and thus get them to purchase Nintendo’s hardware and games. Pokémon Go was an undisputed success for Nintendo, earning it billions of dollars in the fiscal year ended in March. The game maker is betting it can have similar successes with its other mobile games, namely “Legends of Zelda.”While time will tell if it will have another hit on its hands, judging from sales of “Legend of Zelda: Breadth of Wild,” which it rolled out along with its new game console the Switch, Nintendo’s strategy is likely to pay off.

In March Nintendo launched Switch to huge fanfare and rave reviews. After the disaster that the Wii U was for Nintendo the Switch was seen as its salvation. Nintendo unveiled the Wii U in 2010 and was forced to discontinue it last year after it failed to resonate with gamers. The Switch, however, has won the hearts and minds of all sorts of game players thanks to the fact it’s a portable gaming system and home console rolled into one. It also launched with a limited but impressive lineup of games including “Legends of Zelda: Breadth of Wild.” The strong response to the Switch has even prompted Nintendo to increase the number of units produced with the Wall Street Journal reporting in March that companies that assemble the game console plan to manufacture 16 million more units. Originally, the plan was to assemble 8 million units. In March alone, Nintendo said it sold close to 1 million Switch units in the U.S.  and at its launch sold faster than any other video game system in its history. The “Legends of Zelda: Breadth of Wild” sold more than 3.84 million copies since it was rolled out.

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