It's being co-developed by Japanese app and Internet service company LINE, which suggests that rather than just a straight puzzle game Dr. Mario World will feature, as the name implies, some fairly involved social options. The fall is the busiest gaming release season for big titles, in most cases, so a summer release window would slot it right between two blockbuster seasons.
The news comes after Nintendo said it would be putting back the smartphone release of Mario Kart Tour from March until the summer, as the company works on final improvements to the quality of the application.
Today, Nintendo of America tweeted about a new game headed to smartphones.
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Nintendo's strategy with mobile has usually been to time major releases so as to bolster the popularity of console titles coming out around the same time or shortly after. Nintendo also owns a five percent share of mobile developer Cygames, which released action-RPG Dragalia Lost with Nintendo previous year. Nintendo entered the mobile business to create more opportunities for consumers to engage with Nintendo IP and reach audiences beyond its dedicated video game platform business.
The proliferation of smartphones has created a larger base of potential players and also widened the field to competition, with Nintendo entering the unfamiliar market cautiously and wary of damaging its family-friendly reputation. Nintendo had previously partnered with Line for sticker packs in that app but had relied on a partnership with DeNA for games like Super Mario Run and Miitomo.
Furukawa on Friday repeated that Nintendo is now focused on building up Switch sales and that the 3DS retains a role as an affordable entry device for younger players.