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Nintendo will consider the free-to-play model, but Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon are safe
by Anthony Usher 7/1/2013
Product: Nintendo news
Manufacturer: Nintendo
Format: DS, 3DS
In a recent interview with Japanese website Nikkei, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata made some interesting comments about the increasingly popular free-to-play model

"It's a change in our landscape," said Iwata. "Competing in game-quality, and working on how money is obtained, I think both are things that require creativity."

"Therefore, I have no intention of denying... the free-to-play model."

The true meaning

Basically, Iwata stated that Nintendo isn't adverse to creating freemium games, but is unlikely to adopt the model for its established products, such as the Mario, Pokemon and Zelda franchises.

"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," he said.

"For example, for people who are used to Mario games costing 4,800 or 5,800 yen, we will not have a proverbial door to full enjoyment that can only be unlocked via payment."

The future

New titles, on the other hand, are a completely different kettle of Magikarp. It's entirely possible, then, that we'll see a wide variety of free-to-play titles take up residence on the eShop in the near future. 

"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," he concluded.

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