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.