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Iwata Talks Game Development And Free-To-Play Titles


Nintendo president Satoru Iwata recently had the chance to speak to Japanese news publication The Nikkei about a number of subjects including Animal Crossing: New Leaf, game development, and the free-to-play business model. Iwata says that while the company is reluctant to join the free to play wagon, they might do something like cheap-to-play. Here’s what he had to say.

“We [as an industry] can now do distribution by digital means as well as micro-transactions, and the ways to obtain money through supporting entertainment have increased. It’s a change in our landscape; 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 charged [DLC? subscription?] games, or the free-to-play model. If we were to talk about if Nintendo were to do that, however, I do not much inclination to do that with Nintendo’s established well-known products, where people trust their interesting-ness. 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. However, this is separate from say, having something where because there are people who want more stages to play on in Mario games, we will create new courses for those people and charge for them. We have already begun this process with some of our titles. 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. I am not talking about changing how we sell Mario or Pokemon.”

61 thoughts on “Iwata Talks Game Development And Free-To-Play Titles”

  1. Please dont nintendo, i love you guys for youre big budget titles, i fear that if the budget goes down, so will the quality.

    So please dont.

      1. “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”

        I understand that this means either paying a once small fee to buy the game (which i highly doubt,) or micro transactions. I really cant see Nintendo charging a small amount for big budget games (say, Skyward Sword,) thats why im hoping they dont go the Cheap-To-Play route because i fear theyll also drop their budget on these games.

        maybe in looking to deep into what Iwata said, but i still hope they dont go the Cheap-to-Play route.

        1. Liam’s point was simple: You can still have a big budget free to play game.

          The budget is all about development costs, plus marketing and all that.

          Free to play is all about the consumer market. This is the price structure or model that will be used with the finished product.

            1. dont worry about it. its just an asshole using his anonymity to be an asshole without the fear of being punched in his greasy face.

  2. Yhe screw F2P . It’s not right…. I would prefer just boxed full price , high quality games for as long as possible with minimal to no DLC.

    1. who gives a fucking fuck?

      Developers can also produce AAA quality free to play games. I play some in my PC. I always wondered why COD doesn’t go free to play(at least multiplayer) like combat arms or other free to play games.

    2. Screw F2P, it’s not right?

      Yes, that is your opinion, but F2P games are booming and becoming highly successful. Expect more people to head that way.

      1. Uhuh. My opinion stands , the idea of it sucks. I would rather pay £40 and get a full game on a disc with pretty much all th content right there from the get go.
        So would most others.

    3. F2P yes but not “Pay to win”…. and ofc i HATE DLCs.


      1. Full retail game: 40-60 $
      2. Full retail game: 40-60 $ + 10-20 $ (or more) for DLCs…

  3. who gives a fucking fuck?

    Honestly I think the 2d Marios such as new super Mario brothers should be “cheap-to-play”. I like Nintendo but that game hasn’t changed since the first one. Also if fun games like super meat boy are cheap why can’t Nintendo do that. Well that’s just my opinion; I hope I don’t get hate from it.

    1. who gives a fucking fuck?

      Actually those who pay get better weapons or other things but I still have fun. Noobs will always be noobs in the end. :)

      1. Im not thalking about the real free to play like wolfenteins enemy territory im talking of crap like age of empires online.

      2. And that’s exactly why sane human gamers hate pay to win games.
        Because of noobs like you that need to pay money to beat others so you can feel some false sense of accomplishment.

        1. who gives a fucking fuck?

          I never said I pay to win. I have never bought any in game shit. At least give more constructive reply like nintenlord. Grow the fuck up dude.

  4. Oh great he starts talking about how to obtain our money, yeah gaming is dead.
    It’s only about money, not actual fun anymore.
    Just greedy Asian men obtaining our money.

    1. dude.. its always been about the money or else they wouldn’t be in business (same goes for EVERY OTHER BUSINESS). Its just that some aren’t as greedy and fragmented as others are.

  5. In short,

    We’ll do DLC, if we can think of something, but you’re still getting the full game, and no day 1 or exclusive DLC.

    1. I like that, never lines the idea of preorder dlc or day 1 dlc no mather if they finished the game months ago.

  6. Jellybean, you captured it right there. It’s ALWAYS been about the money, and it ALWAYS will be. I’m not saying that devs don’t give a shit about their fans (Valve is a perfect example of a company that DOES give a shit) but the primary reason is money. I also hate that pay-to-win shit. It just gives noobs with a ton of cash free reign to dominate the game.

    1. I love Valve. I wish more companies were like them. I dont know why though, But most the time I still end up whoopin the asses of noobs with a lot of cash :P

      1. who gives a fucking fuck?

        Exactly. Noobs will always Be not that many people actually buy in game things. I myself don’t, I still have fun though.

  7. Good to see that they won’t lock some of the content on the disc only to be unlocked as “DLC” after being paid for but to actually give us the full game and then create new content for us to have fun with.

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