DeNA president Isao Moriyasu revealed the plans for the social app, which will launch in 2016, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“Communication will be central to the game, but I think various elements could be added on – like mini-games users can play with their friends,” said Moriyasu. “As for monetising, there are various possibilities, but at first we plan on selling clothes users can buy for their Miis.”
Nintendo and DeNA announced their partnership in March 2015, with their first joint mobile game originally expected to launch by the end of the year. In October, its release was pushed back to March 2016.
At that time, Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed that the game would be called Miitomo; that it would focus on players’ Mii avatars rather than famous Nintendo characters like Mario; and that it would be a “freemium” title using in-app purchases.
Moriyasu has now reiterated that Miitomo will be more about communication than gameplay, despite the potential for mini-games.
“Miitomo places more emphasis on entertainment. The process of discovering new aspects of your friends via Miis can be quite fun. One distinct aspect of Miitomo is how you can configure your Mii to have it look very similar to yourself,” he said.
“Communicating with friends who actually look like your friends in real life is a distinctly different feeling from text-based communication. We’re thinking of linking the game with users’ Facebook friend lists. I think it could be fun connecting with friends people don’t often communicate with.”
Until its partnership with DeNA, which is one of Japan’s largest mobile gaming firms, Nintendo had resisted calls to launch its own games for smartphones and tablets, preferring to reserve them for its own console and handheld devices.
“Only new original games optimised for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system,” claimed Nintendo when it announced the DeNA deal.
This article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Thursday 24th December 2015 09.05 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010