Nintendo's first smartphone games will be free to play, money to flow from in-app purchases

Nintendo's first smartphone games will be free to play, money to flow from in-app purchases
As most hardcore Nintendo fans probably know by now, the iconic game maker is planning to take the smartphone gaming market by storm, partnering with DeNA to launch five gaming titles by March 2017. 

According to a recent announcement made by Isao Moriyasu, president and CEO of DeNA, the first games that Nintendo and DeNA will launch will adopt the free-to-play system, with money expected to come from in-game microtransactions.

Over the past few years, in-app purchases within free-to-play games have gained a lot of popularity in the smartphone gaming industry, with numerous reports pointing out that mobile game developers actually make more money from such titles than from paid games. What remains to be seen, however, is the extent of these microtransactions within Nintendo's upcoming smartphone games.

As with all free-to-play titles, it will be one thing if Nintendo and DeNA will allow the user the option of spending money to buy certain visual enhancements, and totally another story if in-app purchases will be forced down the user's throat. For instance, the option to buy a new suit for a character would be welcomed. Limiting the number of hours a user can play but then asking for money for more "on time" would be terrible for the user.

A couple of weeks ago, Nintendo recently announced that the first app it will launch in collaboration with DeNA will actually be a social media platform with embedded IM functionality called Miitomo

What do you guys think of this announcement? Are you happy or worried that Nintendo's first smartphone games will adopt the free-to-play model?

source: WSJ



23. IsThereOnePhoneWOaFatalFlaw

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 07, 2011

Freemium isn't free. Worst news in awhile."Make the game about waiting, but let the player pay not to wait. "​m-games/#cLNfJMMXVEqY

22. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

mill app, HAHAHA biggest joke of all time right there

18. 99nights

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 10, 2015

Either way you gotta pay for it somehow. I once remember when nintendo were so adamant against this but i guess times change.

20. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

Their actual games continue to not have IAP like mobile games do. But these mobile games will apparently follow a mobile game business model. Not too much of a surprise there. I'm sure DeNA also had a hand in making this decision, seeing as Nintendo is collaborating with them on this project.

13. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I'm neither happy or worried because I stopped being a big Nintendo fan many years ago. What I will say is I think this is their last shot. Going mobile is almost equal to them going 3rd party that many Nintendo fans fear. And that could happen too if the NX fails. Mobile and F2P seems like a safer bet to gaming companies for some reason...or less investment, high reward. The risk is probably greater or the same as doing traditional gaming.

14. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

They're putting out 5 apps in collaboration with another company, they're not "going mobile". I don't really see it as going 3rd party at all. It is most definitely not their last shot. They're not expecting anything big out of this, so they are most definitely not counting on this to help them out significantly. The 3DS still sells very well and has been highly successful, while Wii U sales are admittedly not stellar, but nonetheless there. It's still way too early to even talk about NX.

12. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Hackers will get a new job cracking those games.

10. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

I don't think people realize what these games are meant to be. These aren't meant to be serious games like you'd find on a gaming system. These are going to some decent mobile games that will most likely appeal to casual mobile gamers. Nintendo never really even wanted to enter the mobile app space either. I recall that in a previous article about Nintendo's apps, Taters said that Nintendo now had to be begging for money with this move, which couldn't be further from the truth. They have tons of cash and aren't hurting for money any time soon. Nintendo only really announced that they would make a few apps to finally shut up those people who kept clamoring for them to make apps and complaining that they never made any apps for smartphones.

7. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Back in my day, games were a quarter each play and each play might only last a few minutes... then it was a cartridge that was $50 on top a $200 console, $500 TV and electricity! A few in game purchases? Over stuff that's not even pay to win? Quit whining.

6. Heisenberg

Posts: 379; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Not a bad idea

5. Subie

Posts: 2467; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I would rather just pay money outright for a quality game that I could then play to my hearts content.

9. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

In such case, you're better off getting an actual Nintendo game for a dedicated game system. These casual mobile games will play by casual mobile game rules because that is what the casual mobile game crowd is into. I seriously doubt Nintendo is collaborating with D├źna to make games for serious gamers on mobile. But if that's what people are expecting, then they are setting themselves up for major disappointment.

19. Subie

Posts: 2467; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Yup, I sure could go for another Mario Galaxy. For serious gaming I prefer a souped up PC though.

21. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

For multi-plats, it definitely blows any console out of the water. For Nintendo games, you go with one of their consoles, of course.

4. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

I prefer trying a demo before buying a full version outrightly. No in-app purchases.

24. TheOriginal

Posts: 49; Member since: Oct 28, 2015


2. Fallen1

Posts: 288; Member since: Nov 14, 2014

Really!!!??? This is just terrible.....

1. Dee79

Posts: 307; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

In game purchases is a con on any platform. What's happened to the days you have to win what you want. All platform gaming has gone down hill far as I'm concerned. The games are made for kids and coz they know kids want want want they decided to charge charge charge.

3. techandbeers

Posts: 110; Member since: Nov 02, 2015

Seriously. I gave my girl's little bro a 50 dollar gift card for Google play. I never would have give him that s**t if I knew he would spend it on in-app purchases for a racing game. Kids these days will be asking their teachers if you can pay for better grades.....

8. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Sometimes you can get a side quest for that. It usually doesn't work if you have the male skin equipped >.>

11. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Come to Latin America and your kids can pay for better grades... Trust me its actually happening.

17. AlikMalix unregistered

Same in Eastern Europe - parents with cash will "perswade" their kids academic success.

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You cant make money off earning things. People are willing to pay to cheap, I mean have some advantages.

16. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

That is, unfortunately, the even more sad state of mobile games nowadays. I've always disliked pay-to-win games. I am optimistic that these IAP will be on optional items, like costumes or the like. Either way, I will be largely unaffected, seeing as I have more games bought and installed on my 3DS than I have even free mobile games on my phone or tablet combined.

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