Nintendo's first set of mobile titles will all be free-to-play with microtransactions, The Wall Street Journal reports.
This was confirmed during an earnings briefing today by Isao Moriyasu, president and CEO of DeNA, the mobile studio working with Nintendo to produce its new series of smartphone games. The chief executive clarified that all five games arriving by spring 2017 will be free downloads with additional paid content.
He did not elaborate upon how many of these planned titles were currently in development, The Wall Street Journal notes.
Nintendo showed off Miitomo, the first of the games to be unveiled, at a meeting for investors late last month. Company president Tatsumi Kimishima said then that the communication-based app — which Moriyasu hesitated to refer to as a "game" at today's event — would be available to download at no cost, but suggested that subsequent apps would come at a price. The app will launch by March 2016.
When Nintendo and DeNA announced a partnership back in March, then-president Satoru Iwata did not rule out the free-to-play business model for the company's new mobile initiative. During an investor Q&A, he instead described his discomfort with the term, expressing his preference for calling games with microtransactions "free-to-start."
"We want to maintain this consumer trust and would not want to damage it in any way," Iwata said, assuring that Nintendo's entrance into the mobile market would not result in a disservice to its IP.
While it remains possible that the next round of Nintendo-developed smartphone games could be sold at a base price, for the meantime Nintendo will test out supporting them with microtransactions instead.