Nintendo’s Next Two Mobile Games Will Adopt the ‘Free-to-Play’ Model

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Jan 18, 2017
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In an interesting, yet unsurprising move, Nintendo’s next two games for mobile are going to adopt the freemium model.

Free-to-Play is the Future of Gaming, And Nintendo Knows it Well

Nintendo, along with others, know very well that mobile gaming cannot be left out of the scene. Realizing this, Nintendo released a few titles on mobile, including Super Mario Run. But of course, the company is not going to stop at that, as it has confirmed two more games are on their way. These games are called “Fire Emblem” and “Animal Crossing.” In case you are wondering, these games tie in with the world of Mario and Legend of Zelda.

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The interesting thing here about these titles is that they’ll adopt the freemium model, or ‘free-to-play.’ This essentially means that you can start playing the game without paying an upfront fee. But as you progress in the game, you are greeted with downloadable content (which can or cannot be free) along with in-app purchases to boost your gameplay further. If you have played Super Mario Run or Pokemon GO, you know exactly what I’m talking about here.

Unlike traditional games in which users buy and then play, the newer business model increases revenue opportunities for game makers by spreading their products to people who may otherwise never have become interested in games.

Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based game consultant, said free-to-play is “the king” in today’s game industry, stressing that Nintendo should embrace the trend to survive.

Mobile gaming is gaining a lot of momentum these days, there’s no doubt left in that at all. But, for Nintendo, console gaming is always going to be their main pillar it seems. But the company believes catering to the mobile segment is absolutely essential as they represent a potential gaming market that just can’t be ignored. Hence, going forward, expect some great stuff to come out for mobile from the company.

It just remains to be seen whether or not Nintendo’s long-term mobile strategy will bear some good fruit. After all, Super Mario Run did not exactly prove to be a money-making machine for the gaming giant, thanks to the steep $9.99 cost to unlock the full game, despite being freemium in nature.

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