Game News

Nintendo reveals more about their plans for their upcoming mobile games

Not too long ago Nintendo has a meeting revealing their financial goals for the near future which touched on some of their plans regarding their mobile games. Well Nintendo has expanded on their plans regarding mobile gaming on Android at a recent meeting with the shareholders. Nintendo CEO, Satoru Iwata, revealed some ideas the company had regarding pricing and monetization for their upcoming games.

As most of you know by now, Nintendo made a deal with DeNA to bring games to Android. Nintendo will make the games while DeNA will be doing the publishing. During the meeting it came out that Nintendo is aware that they can’t just release any software featuring just any of their characters in their franchises and expect to succeed. Because the mobile market is so big, Nintendo needs to stand out among the crowd. It’s a good ideology to have, but executing it is a whole different story. Mind you Nintendo has a head start, being that they are Nintendo and all and not some random indie developer.

The big question everyone wants to know the answer to is monetization and how Nintendo will be doing that. DeNA is a publish that releases free-to-play games with optional IAPs involved. While most of their games can be played without spending a dime, buying stuff in their games does make your life a lot easier. Nintendo is in the market to make money, not release free games in the hopes enough people will buy IAPs. So when asked whether the company would do a one-shot premium price style of monetization, or if they would try the free-to-play model, Mr. Iwata had a pretty interesting answer: free-to-start.

A lot of mobile gamers have stated that one of the best ways to monetize a game is to offer a limited free trial or demo, while giving the option for a user to buy the game in full after playing it for free for a bit. This is pretty much the method that Nintendo eluded to, but didn’t quite confirm it. While it was said that gamers would be able to play their games for free for a short time, playing the entire game would not be free. However, Mr. Iwata stated that one-time payment systems haven’t been doing too well on mobile “because of the huge pressure from other developers that has led to a race to the bottom“. Since Nintendo wants to “cherish” the value of their games, there’s a limit to how low a price they wants to attach to its upcoming mobile games. So the company doesn’t want to limit themselves to a one-time payment system either.

So this begs the question, what is the free-to-start system they were talking about? Play free for a bit before IAPs are needed? Or play for free before playing have to pay for additional DLC and expansions? Mr. Iwata did state he is aware of the “social issue of free-to-play games that psychologically manipulate players and that the majority of profit in these games comes from whales rather than from the player base as a whole.” It is something he wants to avoid doing with their mobile games, instead letting all the players have equal opportunity, hoping to reach a bigger audience who are willing to pay smaller payments.

Mr. Iwata also mentioned Nintendo’s plans on releases, stating that the company doesn’t plan to release that many games between this year and next year. Instead the company basically wants to release quality games and let the player pool build up over time for each title. So they want to spend a lot of time on each release, building it up with new content and allowing the player base to grow after its release.

As it stands right now, Nintendo has a good chance of success on the mobile gaming market. It all depends on how they approach the market and gamers. If they release solid, high-quality games with a fair free-to-start system, the company could see a lot of success. If their games end up being too aggressive with their monetization, Nintendo can expect very little success aside from the ‘whales’ throwing money at them.

Websites Referenced: Touch Arcade | Gamasutra

Share This

You Might Also Like