Nintendo's upcoming free-to-play game will be "balanced and reasonable"

Satoru Iwata says the company plans to avoid an "unbalanced" setup that has players paying "extremely large amounts of money."

More information has come to light regarding Nintendo's new free-to-play game that will be released by April 2014. In an E3 investor briefing, president Satoru Iwata said Nintendo plans to avoid an "unbalanced" setup that has players paying "extremely large amounts of money."

"Free-to-play games, if unbalanced, could result in some consumers paying extremely large amounts of money, and we can certainly not expect to build a good relationship with our consumers in this fashion," Iwata said. "In order to have a favorable long-term relationship, we would like to offer free-to-play games that are balanced and reasonable."

Iwata also confirmed that this new free-to-play game will not involve Mario or Pokemon because consumers have already shown they are willing to pay full price for those franchises. At the same time, though, Iwata said a day may come when Nintendo's tentpole franchises could fit into the free-to-play space.

"With games like Mario and Pokemon, we already have a sufficient degree of trust with our consumers who are willing to pay a certain sum of money to purchase our products as packaged software," Iwata said.

"On the other hand, what are we to do when we want to offer a completely new product whose value consumers are yet to understand? Consumers are not sure if it is worth outlaying a certain sum of money for such a product," he continued. "In such circumstances, our current platforms (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U), which give us various monetization options that would not have been possible on past Nintendo platforms, enable us to make propositions in a free-to-play format."

Nintendo has a number of marquee franchises lined up to help spur Wii U sales, including Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Smash Bros., and Mario Kart 8, among others.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

72 comments
tightwad34
tightwad34

Just stop calling it free to play. Not all of us are stupid and really don't like to be patronized.

Halloll
Halloll

anyone else notice the links under the articles? one of them says that  Nintendo's Steel Diver is going free to play.

Patohua1
Patohua1

Yeah I don't care about this article. It's about a theoretical free game from Nintendo that comes out a year from now. If their $60 games look like they do, I don't even want to know what their free to play looks like.

Helios_Sun
Helios_Sun

I bet its somehing like torchlight 2 for free or something lol

notjustin
notjustin

nintendo is priced well ps4 and xbone will come down

blackace
blackace

Interesting. We'll see what they come up with. Mario Kart 8 is looking good. Now lower the price of your system Nintendo.

atopp399
atopp399

Those character models are so ugly...

Halloll
Halloll

maybe a Metroid FPS?

craigprime
craigprime

I'm really curious, worried, and excited, all at at the same time. I've never put any money into a F2P before, with the exception of Roblox when I was 10. Ah, good times...

Anyway, when we say F2P...does that usually infer an MMO experience? Or are there other kinds? Because I haven't really seen any other kind.

ajay1708
ajay1708

I think mobile hurts Nintendo more than anyone else. The Wii U is not the 1st Nintendo console to be underwhelming in the eyes of gamers but they have always been able to count on gameboy and DS to keep them on their feet. Now Mobile is really cutting into Nintendo's one area where they've always been strong and it magnifies the short comings of the Wii U all the more. Time are changing and Nintendo better adapt to the change or they really could be forgotten.

VentusIIXII
VentusIIXII

Nice ... I want to see  new and special thing and I think Nintendo will make that thing...

ArataWata
ArataWata

Will it be Dragon Quest X though?

ioriaddison
ioriaddison

Every F2P claims itself the same way all the time.

LuigisBro
LuigisBro

this is the same company that charges $50 for the Fire Emblem DLC, and unlike other publishers they're never going to release a GOTY version

rushiosan
rushiosan

I'll pass, I will never support a f2p service in my life, even if it's the best game of the century.

Celsius765
Celsius765

a legend of zelda mmo where you make your own hero

Lambchopzin
Lambchopzin

Based on Iwata's comments it seems safe to assume that this game will be something new. Will be interesting to see what Nintendo's first f2p offering will be.

Patohua1
Patohua1

@Halloll naw, that would be the SMART thing for them to make. Nintendo isn't that smart. It'll be a generic Nintendo game with Miis like Wii Sports.

Mist3rDragon
Mist3rDragon

@ajay1708 It doesn't. Why? Because the people buying mobiles aren't buying them for games. Most people will just buy them for, you know, being mobiles. People buy 3DS's and (many less) Vitas for games, which are much better and deeper. 

If mobiles hurt Nintendo so much, they could easily create a 3DS app which sends SMS messages. 

Panorama12
Panorama12

@ajay1708 i love your doom and gloom, fact is 3DS is the best selling hardware since MONTHS. Even Nintendo said recently on a investors analysis after e3 that the mobile industry doesn't hrut them as much as everyone thinks.

Patohua1
Patohua1

@nastyhotpocket I don't even want to know how you know what one of those looks like, much less how to make one...

Mist3rDragon
Mist3rDragon

@LuigisBro What Fire Emblem DLC is $50? Are you sure you're not looking on the eShop at the game itself? Maybe ALL of it will be quite expensive, but it's quite cheap for the little individual bits and pieces.

FarginIcehole
FarginIcehole

@rushiosan Same here...I have no interest in F2P games.  They are usually shallow to begin with, so why would I want more of THAT!?!

justinka777
justinka777

@rushiosan funny thing is you can play them and not support them, weird thing about free stuff is its free, who would a thought.

NaturallyEvil
NaturallyEvil

@LesserAngel @craigprime There are also games like Path of Exile that work well as either a single player or multiplayer RPG, letting the players choose how they prefer to play.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@Mist3rDragon @ajay1708 I've been saying this ever since this topic began.  People are blinded by all the mobiles being sold, not understanding that selling a mobile phone doesn't guarantee that the person who bought it will give two shits about games.  Me, I have a snazzy Nexus 7 and I use it exclusively for browsing and Netflix in bed or at a Wi-Fi hotspot.

People buy 3DS for games, and that's all.

ajay1708
ajay1708

@Mist3rDragon @ajay1708 i'm not even here to hate on Nintendo but it's the truth. iOS and Android is taking a lot of their gamers away. 

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Mist3rDragon @ajay1708 

Yeah, I have an Android, but I don't really game on it.  Still use my original generation 1 DS for that.  The silver one that can play GBA games.

Next purchase?  A 3DS.  I unfortunately have no reason to get a PSP or a Vita.  Which is kind of too bad, because I like those consoles in principle.  In practice, they don't have the games I want.

Mist3rDragon
Mist3rDragon

@ajay1708 I don't know anyone who bought an iPhone to play games, and I've yet to play an iOS game that I've wanted that hasn't been on eShop (at least that has been released recently) and I've never played on an iOS game as good as Crimson Shroud - Which I bought for £7 for 3DS.

I know plenty of people with a smartphone who doesn't use it for games/has another handheld anyway. 

In the future if this becomes a problem for Nintendo, they could release a Nintenphone. 

Mayleene
Mayleene

@ajay1708 Apple/Android games are not immersive.  That's the difference.

Drkirk08
Drkirk08

@ajay1708 @Drkirk08 @Mist3rDragon But they're not really dominating in the slightest. Nintendo needs more than just 3 times of consumers to be threatened. Games released on the day for Nintendo can make millions, more than multiple mobile phone games. If they actually associated with the iPhone and such, then it'll be more of a problem.

ajay1708
ajay1708

@Drkirk08 @ajay1708 @Mist3rDragon You can go on believing that but Between iphone and ipad Apple has almost 3 times more consumers. Granted their games don't cost as much as the 3ds games, but that makes them that much more dangerous, which happens to be the same message Nintendo is sending in this article. I'm just proud nintendo aknowledges the threat so theirs still hope for them.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Mist3rDragon @packtop @LuigisBro 

Plus all the DLC that's actually relevant to the story of Fire Emblem was free, I thought that was awesome. Yeah, most developers aren't even willing to do that. 

Garagorn888
Garagorn888

@rushiosan @justinka777 Not really since they don't get anything useful from having high stats, except perhaps more people to take up their bandwidth.