Whenever Nintendo announces a new product, whether that is a video game or a console or even just a service, the world magically splits in half with the most extreme reactions seeing Nintendo fans clawing at the company for anything and Nintendo skeptics who constantly spell the doom of the Kyoto-based company. And now that the company has revealed its first ever official mobile game, the cycle will start once more.
Nintendo’s first foray into the world of mobile gaming comes with ‘Miitomo’, a “free-to-start” game with in-app purchases that sounds more or less like Tomodachi Life. Gamers will start by creating avatars (Miis) or import existing ones from their Nintendo Network IDs. Then, their Miis will ask them a bunch of questions about their favorite movies, songs and other personal questions with the aim of creating an overall overview of your interests. Then, your Mii will actually go out in the world and interact with others, sharing information about you and receiving juicy details about your friend’s guilty pleasure songs (it’s Taylor Swift).
Though details are a bit sketchy at the moment, it seems like users will not be able to actually send out messages or interact with their Miis in a lot of ways. Before you say anything about that, I have to remind you about the previously mentioned Tomodachi Life and Nintendo’s StreetPass. The feature was so incredibly successful that recreating it may not be such an issue for Nintendo. And casual mobile gamers have shown that they are more than happy to pay for IAPs, especially in heavily populated titles where cosmetic changes apparently mean everything.
Disappointing as Miitomo might be to some gamers, hope is not lost. Nintendo is actually planning to release four smartphone games by the end of March 2017 and all of them will be premium, paid titles that will feature iconic characters. As always, the company is making some seemingly strange decisions by embracing a payments model it used to hate but I have little doubt that it will come ahead once again.