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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."

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"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.

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