Animal Crossing lead designer Katsuya Eguchi says that Nintendo is open to the idea of creating a free-to-play Animal Crossing game which features micro transactions. Eguchi said that the first thing the development team would need to do is to look at what content will be available for free at the beginning. He concluded by saying that Nintendo would ultimately have to find a business model that works.
“I think the main thing that we need to think about before even considering doing something like that is to determine what we’re going to make available from the beginning. I think that’s key in deciding whether we do something like that. If I find a business model that works, however — that works for Nintendo and the end-user — then I can’t say that [free-to-play] is something we wouldn’t consider.”
“When you look at our main audience in Japan, they are definitely that audience that has smartphones. [They are] women in their late teens and early 20s. They are certainly playing free-to-play games on their smartphone.”