Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto has some good, albeit years-late, advice to game developers: stop relying on free-to-play.
Miyamoto spoke yesterday at a conference in Japan, where he criticized the industry’s over-reliance on free-to-play and microtransactions, while calling for more fixed-price games, Bloomberg reports. He lauded the gaming industry’s large audience, while saying that “if we can deliver games at reasonable prices to as many people as possible, we will see big profits.”
Nintendo itself has been slow to fully embrace free-to-play, looking to redefine the term to suit its own needs but have been pretty consistent about not wanting to exploit players. Miyamoto seemed to echo Satoru Iwata’s statements in his call for fair monetization, even if some of Nintendo’s mobile titles haven’t lived up to that billing.
Miyamoto even went so far as to say that his company’s fixed-cost mobile games haven’t been doing so hot, “But we’re going to continue pushing it forward until it becomes entrenched.”
If Miyamoto and Nintendo are willing to eschew some easy profits so they can feel good about themselves in the morning, then that’s great for them. I just have a hard time believing that their approach, or Miyamoto’s words, will have much of an influence on the free-to-play market as a whole. That (whaling) ship has already sailed.