Even after having great success with its two mobile launches of Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem: Heroes, Nintendo announced in January that it had decided to scale back its original plans to release five games to the App Store in 2017. Instead of the five planned titles, Nintendo plans to release Animal Crossing in the second half of this year, and possibly one more title before the end of the year. Nintendo's final release of 2017 could be The Legend of Zelda, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Details about the possible release are unknown at this time. The WSJ mentions that Nintendo's schedule is flexible, meaning Link's iOS debut could be pushed back to 2018. It is also unknown what type of game Nintendo plans to release. Will The Legend of Zelda be a 3D RPG or some other kind of unexpected title featuring Link and his pals?
Nintendo has embraced both premium and freemium monetization on the App Store. Players can unlock the full version of Super Mario Run for $10 while Fire Emblem: Heroes includes in-game micro-transactions. This makes it hard to guess what pricing model Nintendo will use for a mobile Zelda title if and when it is released.
Nintendo is currently having decent success with the launch of its Switch home console thanks to the response to its flagship title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Hopefully the iOS version will be something that resembles past games in the franchise and not some match-3 title using Zelda as a gimmick.