At the beginning of February, Nintendo announced Dr. Mario World for iOS and Android devices was targeting an "early summer" global release this year. The free-to-download title is being co-developed by LINE Corporation and NHN Entertainment and will include optional in-app purchases.
During Nintendo's recent financial briefing Q&A summary, company President Shuntaro Furukawa was asked about the future of this collaboration with LINE and if it signalled interest in developing games for younger segments of the population. This is what Furukawa had to say:
“I believe everyone is familiar with LINE, which is virtually synonymous with “messaging application” in Japan. We believe that real-life social graph (connections between friends via the Internet) cultivated by LINE, as well as the technologies supporting it, will be a very strong platform for consumers to enjoy our game applications, which is why we have formed this collaboration. And Dr. Mario World is a puzzle game, so we hope many people will enjoy it, regardless of gender or age.”
Based on this response, it seems as if Nintendo plans to incorporate LINE technologies into additional future releases. Perhaps the partnership could even go beyond mobile support at some point. In the original news release for Dr. Mario World, LINE's corporate mission "Closing the Distance" was referenced to help explain the context of the partnership with Nintendo and NHN Entertainment:
LINE is dedicated to creating a world that seamlessly connects people, information, content, and services anywhere, anytime, and at the most comfortable distance.
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