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Sega sees a future in Nintendo 3DS free-to-play titles

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With its impending launch of free-to-play game Initial D: Perfect Shift Online for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan, Sega is considering developing more free-play-games titles for the handheld, Sega chief creative officer Toshihiro Nagoshi told Famitsu magazine.

"We don't intend to stop with this title, and after looking over its results, we'll think about what to do next," Nagoshi said in the interview, translated by Siliconera. "However, unlike games for smartphones, I believe there's a perfect shape of ways to do things, somewhere out there, for the Nintendo 3DS. I believe that finding it will be our challenge, and in many ways, Initial D will be our first step."

A free-to-play title must be on a platform with a large install base in order to succeed, Nagoshi explained, saying that the Nintendo 3DS follows behind the smartphone as the most popular device in Japan. Acknowledging that the two markets are different, Nagoshi would like to experiment with free-to-play games on the 3DS to "see the results for myself" and is "very interested in seeing what happens" as a game creator and producer.

"Of course I believe that we might see some unexpected results," the Yakuza series director said. "It might not even go too well, and there are many possibilities. The Nintendo 3DS has a wide audience from elementary school to high school students, but that’s not all. I believe there’s a business chance in the older market. However, nothing is certain for now, but to a degree, giving that a shot is a Sega-like selection. I’m sure if fans take it that way, they will understand."

Nagoshi went on to say that Sega has "been thinking about plenty of things" for future 3DS free-to-play titles, saying "We have suggestions amongst ourselves like ‘wouldn’t this be a perfect game for a F2P title on Nintendo 3DS’ and many more. "

Currently in beta, Initial D: Perfect Shift Online is set to release in Japan this winter. The full game will be free to download and players can receive special content with points, which they can either purchase with real money or accumulate through playing the game.