Nintendo is teaming up with Line Corporation to develop and run a new puzzle game for Android and iOS devices called “Dr. Mario World, the companies announced Thursday evening.
The game will be free with optional in-app purchases and is expected to hit about 60 countries and regions including Japan and the United States with its early summer 2019 release.
In announcing the partnership with Line, Nintendo reiterated that it entered the mobile business to create “even more opportunities for consumers to engage with Nintendo IP and reaching audiences beyond its dedicated video game platform business.”
Line, which is the Japanese subsidiary of South Korean internet search giant Naver Corporation, offers its own services through a Smart Portal strategy to about 165 million monthly active users in four key markets: Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.
“Utilizing both companies’ strengths, Nintendo and LINE will co-develop and jointly operate a new action puzzle game featuring Dr. Mario titled ‘Dr. Mario World’ to be released by Nintendo,” according to Nintendo’s announcement. “Together with Nintendo and LINE, NHN Entertainment, which has released and operated various online and mobile games, will take part in the development and operation of ‘Dr. Mario World.'”
The “Dr. Mario” franchise started with the release of the original “Dr. Mario” in 1990. The game was designed by Game & Watch and Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi. In “Dr. Mario,” players have to destroy viruses by using matching up colorful capsules dropped from the top of the screen, like “Tetris.”