Iwata 'does not have much inclination' to make Nintendo's brands free-to-play

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.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.