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Nintendo’s First Five Smartphone Games Will All Be Free-To-Play

by Mike Futter on Nov 11, 2015 at 02:49 AM

The Wall Street Journal reports that DeNA has put some clarity around the monetization method for its first five Nintendo partnership games. The first wave of titles, which are due by March 2017, will be free-to-play.

Nintendo previously announced that its first smartphone app, which doesn’t seem to be a game at all, will be out in March 2016. MiiTomo appears to be a chat app with elements of Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life series.

The publisher won’t be simply adapting existing games for mobile platforms. The original games will be designed to leverage IP and generate interest in Nintendo’s console and handheld platforms.

The company will also be using a new Nintendo Account system to unify experiences. This comes along with a replacement for the defunct Club Nintendo program.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]


Our Take
With the release of the Nintendo Badge Arcade system on 3DS and other free-to-play titles on the system, it’s clear that Nintendo isn’t afraid of in-game transactions. There is much that the publisher has to gain from its smartphone initiative, but poor implementation of microtransactions could do as much harm to the brand as the good it does for revenue.