A few months ago, Nintendo surprised the gaming community by announcing Dragalia Lost in partnership with Cygames. This game represents a departure from the original vision for Nintendo’s efforts on mobile. When the decision to create mobile games alongside their console efforts was announced in 2015, the intention of the games was to introduce new players to Nintendo IP. However, Dragalia Lost is a brand-new IP designed specifically for mobile. In case you hadn’t heard of the game before it can be briefly described as an action RPG akin to Secret of Mana, but with a combat system geared to the strengths of smartphones. It is clear that with this title the console market is not a factor; it is a venture unto itself. Furthermore, the move to partner with Cygames is an interesting and unexpected one. These two factors make it possibly Nintendo’s most interesting mobile title yet. The game looks set to be a roaring success.
The mobile market is abundant with games, many will fall by the wayside and get no attention. However, Nintendo will never face this. The reputation that comes with their name is potentially unrivalled. As such, Dragalia Lost is already in a strong starting position and will be heavily covered across the internet.
Although, Nintendo on mobile platforms isn’t new. Beyond the initial rush of excitement, apps like Miitomo didn’t last, but Dragalia Lost won’t suffer the same fate. This is because it holds not only the name of Nintendo but also of Cygames. For those unfamiliar with that name, they’re responsible for Granblue Fantasy–the game that dominates the mobile market in Japan. Granblue Fantasy has seen such success that it’s even getting a PS4 spinoff developed by Platinum Games.
So who are these people who have managed to come out of nowhere to create a smash hit? Well, they haven’t actually come from out of nowhere. Rather, some of the people at Cygames have played a part in the creation of some classics. Take Nobuo Uematsu for example, who is responsible for the soundtracks of so much of the Final Fantasy series, or Hideo Minaba, who has lent his art skills to many Final Fantasy titles well. These names aren’t actually involved with this release, but it goes some way to building that reputation which Dragalia Lost will benefit from. The calibre of games that both Nintendo and Cygames are known for making is of the highest calibre. Certainly, the fact that Cygames is known primarily for successful mobile games can only improve Dragalia Lost’s chances of success.
As formerly mentioned, this isn’t Nintendo’s first rodeo in the mobile market, and they have found their footing now. They know what works and what doesn’t. They have had their experiment with Miitomo and tried certain methods of monetization throughout their releases. That being said, the title that Nintendo holds up as its crowning success is the one that Dragalia Lost appears to follow the most–Fire Emblem Heroes. Just like Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes and Cygames’s Granblue Fantasy, this game will utilize a gacha system. This kind of system has been proven time and time again to work, and it will here too.
It would not come as any surprise if Dragalia Lost becomes Nintendo’s most profitable venture into the mobile market yet, as all the signs are there. The game looks like a fun romp and a great experience designed to the strengths of the platform. It is exactly what Nintendo should be creating for the platforms, expanding their library of IPs in new and exciting ways. This title marks a new leap for Nintendo in one sense and a safe bet in another.
All things considered, Dragalia Lost is set to take mobile by storm.