The next smartphone game that’s being made by Nintendo is Dr. Mario World, which is set to be released on iOS and Android phones this summer.
Nintendo has seen tremendous success with smartphone games based on their video game properties, with games like Fire Emblem Heroes bringing in over $400 million dollars in profit by applying the random nature of the gacha model to the turn-based strategy of the Fire Emblem series. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp has also brought in over $50 million dollars in profit, but that number will almost certainly go up if the upcoming Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo Switch has Pocket Camp integration.
Nintendo has announced via their Twitter page that their next smartphone game will be Dr. Mario World, which is aiming to be released in the early summer of 2019. The Nintendo Twitter post links to a page on their official website, which says that Dr. Mario World will be made in partnership with the LINE Corporation and NHN Entertainment, with an eye for a simultaneous worldwide release in around sixty countries. Nintendo has confirmed that Dr. Mario World will be a puzzle game that’ll be free to download but will contain in-app purchases, and will support a number of different languages other than just English and Japanese.
The Dr. Mario World announcement is hot on the heels of the news of Mario Kart Tour being delayed from March 2019 to the summer. The fact that the Twitter post mentions that Dr. Mario World is due in the early summer suggests that it’ll be released before Mario Kart Tour.
The Dr. Mario series is a perfect fit for a smartphone game and it’s shocking that we haven’t seen it earlier. The Dr. Mario games are similar to Tetris except that players have to destroy blocks that are already on the screen, which is a premise that would be easy to pull off using only the touchscreen, which was a major issue with Super Mario Run. Activision paid almost six billion dollars for King and the rights to the Candy Crush franchise, which means that Nintendo might have been leaving money on the table the whole time, as Dr. Mario is similar enough to those games that it could easily be monetized and make a lot of profit in the same way that a Candy Crush spinoff does.
The Nintendo Switch has had an amazing second year and pulled in a lot of sales, but Nintendo clearly has an eye on the mobile market and Dr. Mario World might be far more suited to becoming a huge franchise on smartphones than any of their other intellectual properties.