On a scale of one to 10, the news that an Animal Crossing game was coming to mobile devices would probably break right through and head for the teens.
Alas, it appears mobile gamers will have to settle for mild enthusiasm. Series mastermind Katsuya Eguchi recently told Joystiq that while he could see Animal Crossing mobile apps that would give players an extra way to manage some aspects of their towns, he doesn’t think smartphones and tablets would be a good fit for a full game.
While everyone knows Nintendo has been steadfast in its decision to avoid bringing its IPs to mobile, Animal Crossing would be a brand that could make a smooth transition. The name alone would probably cause a launch day stampede to the App Store and/or Google Play.
On top of that, the real time nature of Animal Crossing gameplay feels tailor made for devices people have with them at all times, and what piece of tech is more omnipresent than a smartphone? Eguchi may be right about fans of the series tending toward longer play sessions than in other life sims, but that’s a good problem to have, regardless of platform.
Would people be content with an app that simply allows tinkering around the edges of their Animal Crossing experience while eventually forcing them back to their handheld? For now, that looks like the best we can hope for, unless a successful app proves to be the start of the slippery slope that leads Nintendo to mobile. Hope springs eternal, right?