Nintendo president Satoru Iwata supports continued use of paid downloadable content for the company's franchise games, but "does not have much inclination" towards making Nintendo brands free-to-play, Iwata said in a recent interview with Japanese publication Nikkei.
Iwata believes the free-to-play model works, but it is not something Nintendo could utilize for franchise games fans have traditionally paid for.
"If we were to talk about Nintendo [adopting the model], I do not have much inclination to do that with Nintendo's established well-known products, where people trust their reputation and fun," he said. "For example, for people who are used to Mario games costing 4,800 or 5,800 yen, we will not have a proverbial door to full enjoyment that can only be unlocked via payment."
Iwata says this is different from additional content released post-launch for people who have beaten a game and still want to play, such as the new courses released for New Super Mario Bros. 2 on 3DS.
"For new titles with no established base, if during development we find it suitable to use the free-to-play model, we might follow that route, or we might do something like 'cheap-to-play,'" he said. "If we were to release something like that, it is not a betrayal [of our paid model] but the birth of an interesting idea through our new found freedom, that's all.
"I am not talking about changing the way we sell Mario or Pokemon games," he added.
Nintendo currently supports one free-to-play title, Namco Bandai's party game battler Tank! Tank! Tank! on the Wii U.