Gaming on smartphones has gained quite a following over the years. From the early days of Snake on Nokia brick phones to having full-fledged MMORPG titles available for our smartphones, mobile gaming has become quite the commodity. It was only a matter of time before companies who specialized in console games would want to get in on the action, and Nintendo is the latest to announce their plans to bring their iconic characters from console over to mobile.
Companies like Sony and Microsoft have already ported and created some of their most well-known titles (Final Fantasy, Halo, Assassin’s Creed) over to mobile, but Nintendo has been on the fence about a mobile addition for a while at this point. Many have been hopeful of Nintendo entering mobile gaming due to the popularity of their various video game franchises such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. Due to the simplicity of the earlier versions of these games, Nintendo really seemed like they had a prime line-up of games that would be perfect for mobile.
But, as it turns out, Nintendo plans to make completely new games for mobile instead of re-using old ones. It’s actually a pretty good idea, because as much as I love remakes (I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I got once I learned that old Nintendo 64 Legend of Zelda titles Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask were being remade for the 3DS) I love new adventures equally as much... probably even more.
My only fear at this point is that Nintendo will go down the road of microtransactions, which is becoming a standard in the gaming industry as a whole.
When I was a kid and I purchased a video game that was that. You walk into a store, you pay money, you walk out with a game – you now own the game. No further action is required, the entire game is yours. Nowadays, the money flow doesn’t end with the purchase of the game. Now you can often times make purchases within the game you already purchased in order to make the game easier, and sometimes companies will make expansions for the same game… which is okay, I guess, but I’d rather just have a clear definition of a second game instead of a company releasing a chunk of the same game I thought I already owned in its entirety.
It’s all very confusing, and even more annoying.
Nintendo already experiments with downloadable content with its console games, so I have no doubt that they’ll probably add in microtransactions of some type at some point, which would be okay as long as the microtransactions are vanity related and don’t take away from the actual game itself. My preference would be for Nintendo to embrace what Apple was trying to promote last month (“Pay Once” and that’s it type of games) but my guess is that microtransactions, at this point, are probably more lucrative because the gaming generation of today is different from when I was growing up. Microtransactions are seemingly expected at this point.
I’m excited to see what Nintendo will bring for mobile gaming, because I have high hopes that the storylines will be enjoyable. Nintendo is the creator of some of my all-time favorite video games, and the possibility that I’ll be able to use my phone as a personal game console for new Nintendo games is a pretty neat, possibly money-saving concept.
Unless microtransactions completely ruin the experience.