Nintendo is keen on the F2P market, company president Satoru Iwata has revealed in a new interview. However, he was quick to add that the developer probably won’t shoe-horn free features into existing franchises like Mario.
In an interview with Japanese financial paper Nikkei – translated by GAF – Iwata stated, “We [as an industry] can now do distribution by digital means as well as micro-transactions, and the ways to obtain money through supporting entertainment have increased.
“I have no intention of denying charged games or the free-to-play model. If we were to talk about if Nintendo were to do that, however, I do not [have] much inclination to do that with Nintendo’s established well-known products, where people trust their interesting-ness.”
Iwata cited Nintendo’s approach to paid DLC in New Super Mario Bros. 2 as an example of ways the developer is dipping its toes in the microtrasaction pond, “We will not have a proverbial door to full enjoyment that can only be unlocked via payment. However, this is separate from, say, having something where because there are people who want more stages to play in Mario games, we will create new courses for those people and charge for them.”
Regarding existing franchises, Iwata said that Nintendo would probably avoid messing around with new payment ideas within established franchises, but suggested other payment models could be on the cards.
“For new titles with no established base, if, in the process of development, we found it to suit the free-to-play model, we might follow that route, or we might do something like ‘cheap-to-play’.
“Our sales methods have been freed up and I have no desire to extinguish that freedom. If we were to release something like that, it is not a betrayal but the birth of an interesting idea through our new found freedom, that’s all. I am not talking about changing how we sell Mario or Pokémon.”
What do you think readers? Should Nintendo embrace this sector of the market? Let us know below.