Unannounced NieR mobile game reportedly cancelled

The NieR spin-off was reportedly in development for two years.
nier mobile game cancelled

Tencent has reportedly cancelled an upcoming mobile game spinning out of Square Enix’s NieR franchise, with all work believed to have stopped in December 2023. Sources speaking to Reuters claimed the game had been in development for nearly two years, but was cancelled by Tencent for a number of reasons.

The primary reason, as cited by Reuters sources, was because the company “struggled to find a compelling monetisation model” that would outweigh the steep development costs, and the franchise rights. As outlined, mobile games that adapt popular franchises are subject to royalty fees of 15-20%. There’s also the matter of mobile games being subject to Apple App Store fees, which further reduce their overall profitability.

To ensure the NieR mobile game was a success, Tencent would have needed a robust and compelling monetisation model, supported by a game with wide, mainstream appeal. According to Reuters, Tencent has recently found it difficult to pursue new development on mobile games due to the high monetary cost, and a reduction in profit margins.

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One source speaking to the company claimed that Tencent was not willing to pay such high royalty fees for its upcoming mobile games, and this may have contributed to the decision to cancel the unannounced NieR project.

Prior to this decision, the game had reportedly been making significant progress, with a fully playable internal demo complete.

Given the typical secrecy around cancelled games, we’re unlikely to learn more about this NieR spin-off, and how it would have adapted the beloved franchise. With its cancellation, hope for another hearty NieR mobile game appears to be over. While there is already an existing mobile spin-off in the form of the story-based NieR Reincarnation, this game will be shut down in April 2024.

For now, the future of the NieR franchise remains unclear – although it’s expected to continue for as long as director Yoko Taro is alive.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.