Nintendo's Next Two Mobile Games to Adopt Free-to-Play Model

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Following the announcement that Nintendo's next two mobile gaming apps will center around the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem franchises, DeNA Chief Executive Isao Moriyasu today mentioned to The Wall Street Journal that both games will be "free-to-start apps," which a Nintendo spokeswoman has now confirmed. DeNA is the Tokyo-based mobile gaming studio assisting with the creation of Nintendo's five smartphone titles, still on a planned trajectory for launch before March 2017.

animal crossing fire emblem ios
When Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem were announced for iPhone and Android last month, neither company confirmed the payment strategy the games would adopt for mobile platforms. Nintendo and DeNA's first game, Miitomo, rolled out with a similar free-to-play model where users could end up spending more money in-game on various outfits for their virtual Mii avatar. Although its popularity in the field died down somewhat after initial launch excitement, Nintendo confirmed Miitomo was downloaded and played by over 10 million users worldwide since its debut.

In the original announcement, Nintendo said that Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing were both "pure game applications," especially in comparison to Miitomo's more socially-driven atmosphere. What's still unclear is how Nintendo plans to implement in-app purchases within each game, although it seems that the free-to-play model is a continuation of the company's hope to build up a user base consisting of a wide demographic of players, instead of a purely hardcore one who would be willing to pay outright for each title.

In earlier announcements centering around Miitomo's freemium model, Nintendo mentioned that future games would be pay-to-download, so there's still a chance that the remaining games created between the company and DeNA could be more traditionally priced apps. The rollout plan was already pushed back when Miitomo missed its 2015 launch, but if the company stays on track now, there should still be two more Nintendo apps hitting iOS and Android sometime between this fall and March of next year.

Top Rated Comments

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56 months ago
I would pay for a good old fashion Mario.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

-mium is Latin for not really.

Freemium is a portmanteau of two English words: "free" + "premium."

Premium is from the Latin "praemium" a verb relating to obtaining things. Mium is a word, not a suffix. It's a cool coincidence that mium means "not really" but it's not related to freemium
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
I'm waiting patiently for Super Mario!
Not a fan of in-app purchases, it's a tacky business model.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
And that is how you ruin an awesome series like Fire Emblem. Can't wait to pay to unlock the next chapter of my playthrough :rolleyes:

I'd rather pay the full $39 like I would on the 3DS and get the game complete, forever.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

I'm waiting patiently for Super Mario!
Not a fan of in-app purchases, it's a tacky business model.

I agree it is tacky. Unfortunately, it's the only model where game developers consistently make money.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago

I disagree. I don’t see it as any different from having a movie package where you only get certain bits or speccing a car where you only get what you want at the time, or even paying for an all you can eat meal where certain drinks aren’t included.

Stop drinking the kool aid.

If this were the case. Why haven't console games gone the in app purchase route (sure they have add on packs). But the full game is a one time purchase. You can download full Xbox and ps games for years now.

The money is gonna to be the same for game developers. People will pay if it's a good game instead of being nickel and dimed with in app.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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