Could Nintendo change the way we think about free-to-play monetization methods?
In speaking to investors earlier this week, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata -- who already has had his say on free-to-play and its less-savory practices -- said that his company is exploring alternatives to change the monetization of its F2P games from one that appeals to a "narrow and large[-spending]" audience to one that's "wide and small[-spending]." In other words, he wants his games to get smaller amounts of money from a larger pool of players instead of a lot of money from a few players.
The second question on this page is where Iwata explains in depth his company's strategy. In noting that the traditional way Japanese mobile games make money is by exploiting "whales," Iwata says that such a strategy "will not produce long-lasting results," even if it does produce short-term profits. A secondary issue is the desire to keep Nintendo a family-friendly company, and avoid incidents like this one, so that "parents and guardians can give Nintendo products to their children with peace of mind." As such, Iwata has challenged his team to come up with alternatives, and his developers have had "many active discussions on the topic."
It's an interesting challenge, and considering Iwata's seemingly high integrity, one that I wouldn't doubt he's serious about. Of course, as with my last article about Iwata, I'm not 100% that it can work without something really restrictive, like my Awful Idea from last year, which sounded nice in theory but not so much in practice. Not only that, but big spenders, as much as they might seem abhorrent, are what help keep games free for the vast majority of players. Reduce their impact and it means more players have to pay to enjoy the game -- which could have a dramatic effect on the "free-ness" of a F2P game and the enjoyment level of its player base.
Still, it'll be interesting to see if Iwata and Nintendo can actually pull off something that appeals to customers and is healthy for the company in the long-term. Maybe it will lead to a whole new way to approach F2P monetization that games will rush to adapt.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
Skyforge Issues Alert On High-Level Anomalies
Anomalies are one of the endgame group encounters offered in Skyforge, and today the My.com/Obsidian/Allods Team guys opened the portal to explain this type of content. Anomalies are content meant for five players -- excuse...By Jason Winter - 8 years ago
You May Enjoy
New World Improves Open World PvP With Influence V2 With Tomorrow's Expansion Launch
Players will have a reason to defend their territories in open-world PvP.By Troy Blackburn - 1 day ago
A UI Revamp May Be Headed To Fortnite, And Honestly It Does Look A Little More "Mobile"
At least that’s what some leaks indicate.By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago
New World Takes You On A Deep Dive Of The Newest Expedition, The Savage Divide
Players must band together to protect Aeternum.By Troy Blackburn - 1 week ago
Embracer Group Addresses Financial Challenges With Three-Step Plan That Will Entail "Difficult Decisions" (AKA: Probably Layoffs)
Embracer Group is confident it will achieve its goals by the end of the fiscal year.By Matthew D'Onofrio - 1 week ago
Tomorrow's Ticket Wave Is Your Last Chance To Purchase BlizzCon Tickets
BlizzCon takes place November 3-4 2023 in Anaheim, CABy Troy Blackburn - 5 days ago
Creative Assembly Announces Potential Layoffs Following Cancellation Of Hyenas
The changes are part of “structural reforms” at Sega.By QuintLyn Bowers - 5 days ago