With both Sony and Microsoft thumping their chests and announcing to the world their Free-to-Play intentions, Nintendo has quietly been telling investors they do indeed have plans to introduce their own console specific F2P titles.

Now I am going to stop you right there. Nintendo has already made it very clear they have no intentions of making F2P games based on their already popular series. This means no F2P Mario games or Pokemon MMOs. Saddening I know. In an analyst briefing, Satoru Iwata the company’s CEO, mentioned series like Mario and Pokemon already have an established degree of trust between Nintendo and the consumers who are willing to pay for them.

Instead the company wants to focus on making F2P titles “whose value consumers are yet to understand”. In short, this means taking a series which may be brand new and tailoring it for F2P. While it may be no surprise Nintendo plans on using the WII U as a platform for its F2P games, the company also listed the 3DS as another F2P recipient.

So what will be the developer’s first F2P title? According to IGN it’s Steel Driver, a 3DS launch title that was originally released last year. The game is said to be more than a simple port and will be designed with the Free-to-Play model in mind. Currently there is no word on whether Steel Driver will remain a 3DS title or if it will be getting the Wii treatment.

Overall, Nintendo’s plan seems to revolve around offering monetized Free-to-Play games that are “balanced and reasonable”. The company says it will be able to make more “concrete propositions” within this fiscal year.

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.


  1. “Nintendo has already made it very clear they have no intentions of making F2P games based on their already popular series”

    ~~~ just like what they did to Monster Hunter Online (which was F2P and supposedly to be Global, but it’s not CN only)

    Because Western Market blocked it so they can sell more of their console versions.

  2. Nintendo really doesn’t make much sense when it comes to these things. They could easily make more money off of developing PC games or more games for their pre-existing consoles, yet they aren’t.

    I think Nintendo is just trying to stay ‘relevant’ and ‘in the market’ more than actually caring what they are doing at this point, and it shows.

    • Yes because F2P games are so new and relevant in today’s society despite having been on PCs for over 17 years now. Nintendo knows what they’re doing–it’s evident since they’ve survived despite the “big boys” sony and microsoft scrapping and pushing hardware and graphics up and up. So obviously Nintendo is doing something right. Or would you like to tell Mr. Satoru Iwata that he has no idea what he’s doing?

  3. em console wars does not exist, either your a playstation fan or xbox. Its not like two football teams compete for the fans. Yes some people will buy xbox over a playstation for a certain game but this console wars every one talks about just does not exist between two bloody consoles.

    Maybe if there was 5 consoles on the market there would be more of a console war.

    Nintendo will always have there fans regardless of the games they publish even if the fans dont buy there console.

    F*ck Mario online, give us zelda online some thing that would be worthy of an MMO title for nintendo. Sorry to any zelda fan boys that dont think zelda should make it to the MMO market but its been wished for, for years.

  4. Nintendo products just don’t have the power to do what the PS4 and Vita are going to bring us. There’s really not much to compare. The only reason I’d ever consider buying a wii U is for like, 4 or so exclusives. That’s it.

  5. I like how Nintendo is fighting the console battle with not only it’s desk console, but also it’s handheld.

    Now, that’s something they really need, because Nintendo is hardly a competitor in the “hardcore gfx” war, but it’s direction is making up for it (and the wya it looks, multi-console gamers will be getting a PS4 and a WiiU rather than the Xbone)

    • I reckon Nintendo doesn’t really participate in the console wars as such (at least for the TV based consoles), it does its only thing and people accept that. Third party titles? Ha! People who get Nintendo consoles don’t get them for those, they usually have a PC or one of the other consoles for third party titles.

      If Nintendo can pull this F2P offering off (there’s already a very strong 3DS base, while the Wii U install base will grow a lot more once it’s big titles like Mario Kart & Super Smash Bros. come out), I expect them to do pretty well this generation. Maybe not to the extent that the Wii & DS provided in sales last generation, but still…

      Glad to see that MMOBomb (although Spunk and the F2P cast have doubts about the Wii U) at least isn’t biased enough that they skip over such news.

  6. Ahh Nintendo…gonna have to agree with that guy during an E3 interview. Nintendo should just stop making consoles and devote to just making games. Regardless of being F2P or B2P or even maybe subscription, taking advantage of their franchises for MMOs would make them a killing.

    • They could just go back to running ‘Love Hotels’ too. But I would hope they don’t do either one, because either way, someone is selling out.


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