2015 will mark the first year in which the revenues from the mobile gaming market will have eclipsed that of its older (and larger) sibling, the traditional console market. With the continued growth of mobile gaming, many publishers traditionally known for their big-name console titles are making moves to expand their own spheres of influence in the marketplace.
One such company is Square Enix, the publisher and developers of the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises. It has long supported the mobile market through ports of old-school games like Chrono Trigger up to newer titles developed specifically for smartphones. Pocket Gamer reports that the company has announced its plans to adapt many of its classic properties for both the latest consoles and mobile devices. This reflects the success of the publisher’s long-awaited mobile port of Final Fantasy VII that was released earlier this year. This comes in addition to the company’s announcement that the iconic role-playing game is getting a complete remake and graphical overhaul for the PS4.
“We will take an IP developed for earlier generations of game consoles and recreate it for the latest consoles, while also proactively developing versions for play on smart devices,” Square Enix noted in the company’s annual report.
Many of our favourite franchises and games have been receiving the mobile makeover, but the world of old-school RPGs has been a little bit slower on the uptake. Gala Casino, a platform that runs on browsers and mobile devices, has a social casino game based on the classic Icewind Dale series from the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, and we would love to have the same opportunity to try our luck with our favourite Final Fantasy characters. We can practically picture the materia all lining up and the Gil flowing right now. We’re still waiting for a mobile casino based on the Gold Saucer from FFVII, but it’d be terrific to see this aspect of the game expanded upon in the new version—especially with the potential for online connectivity.
Another major player in the world of video game publishing taking the dive into mobile gaming is Nintendo. Much to the surprise of everyone, Nintendo finally gave in and agreed to a deal with mobile developer DeNA to make several games based on its popular franchises for smartphones and mobile devices.
VentureBeat has reported from the GamesBeat 2015 conference that DeNA West CEO Shintaro Asako said the long-awaited debut of Nintendo on mobile gaming might be coming sooner than you think.
“Soon, we should be able to announce about the game. I can’t say too much about the Nintendo deal,” Asako added. “But it’s a really exciting initiative.”
The plan has been for Nintendo and DeNA to release five games between now and the spring of 2017 with the intention of extending the partnership far beyond this date. So far, we know that at least one of these games will involve the massively popular Pokémon franchise, with more to be announced in the coming months.