Last month, Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima said that the company intended to release "two to three new titles" on mobile platforms during this fiscal year. One of those titles is Animal Crossing, the last of the three previously-announced Nintendo mobile games. The game is expected to arrive sometime this year, though Nintendo has not given a firm release window following its delay.
A report at the Wall Street Journal says that the next title after that will be mobile game based on The Legend of Zelda franchise. There are no details on the business model, as a potential Zelda game could have a one-time fee like Super Mario Run or a free-to-play model like Fire Emblem Heroes.
Nintendo has admitted that it prefers the pay-once model. Kimishima previously said that Super Mario Run "did not meet our expectations," whereas Fire Emblem Heroes is a big winner when it comes to revenue. In fact, Fire Emblem Heroes had a tenth of the downloads of Super Mario Run, but far more revenue. Despite that, Nintendo dislikes free-to-play.
"Heroes is an outlier," a senior company official said at the time. "We honestly prefer the Super Mario Run model."
If I were a betting man, I'd put money on Animal Crossing being free-to-play and a potential Legend of Zelda title coming in as a pay-once title.