In a move that might finally bring two of the company’s most popular franchises to smartphones, the next Nintendo mobile games may be The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong.
The arrival of the two franchises to mobile gaming was hinted at by trademarks that the company filed this month, Destructoid reported, citing Japanese Nintendo. The two trademarks are for The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and Mario vs. Donkey Kong, filed as “program for home video game machine, downloadable video game program, and program for smartphone.”
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks was first released for the Nintendo DS in 2009, and rereleased for the Wii U Virtual Console in 2016. Mario Vs. Donkey Kong, meanwhile, first appeared on the Game Boy Advance in 2004, with subsequent versions gracing the Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U.
Rumors of a The Legend of Zelda smartphone game have been making the rounds since last year, after the success of Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes. The report mentioned The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, which is primarily controlled through the Nintendo DS stylus, as a possible inspiration for the mobile game.
New Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said earlier this year that he is planning to turn the company’s mobile gaming division into a nearly $1 billion business, after Fire Emblem Heroes made almost $300 million in its first year from microtransactions. The arrival of The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong to smartphone games will definitely give the division a boost towards achieving that goal.
The trademark filings do not entirely confirm that The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and Mario vs. Donkey Kong are indeed on the way to be released as mobile games. There is the possibility that The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks will be repackaged for the Nintendo 3DS, while a new Mario Vs. Donkey Kong may be on its way to the Nintendo Switch.
However, with the trademark filings mentioning “program for smartphone,” fans of the two franchises are hoping that they will be the next Nintendo mobile games. The two titles may translate well to smartphones and tablets, and are good candidates to mark the arrival of The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong to mobile.