Nintendo Discusses Dynamic Game Pricing Strategy

Published 1 year ago by

Nintendo Dynamic Pricing Structure Wii U 3DS

Amidst a storm of news regarding Nintendo’s new business strategies, the Japanese gaming giant has confirmed quite a few ponder-worthy ideals. First and foremost, Mario Kart 8 will finally be racing onto store shelves later this May, much to the delight of fans the world over. Despite that title finally getting a launch month however, the Big N has revealed a new dynamic game pricing structure that would benefit both first and third-party developers.

More simply, this business model has been put in place to encourage consumers to do what they do best — consume. In order to achieve this, players will be given discounts on additional games based on how many titles are purchased by Nintendo owners. Ninty claims that giving its fans discounts on software depending on how much they buy increases the “usage ratio” of any given platform, which more or less means that it keeps users engaged for longer amounts of time.

As was discussed during the the latest third quarter financial results briefing, the current pricing structure for consoles and respective software just doesn’t hold up “amid dynamic changes in people’s lifestyles.” As a result of this, games can’t consistently retail for $30-$50 on Nintendo platforms and dropping the price of software for fans can increase the number of sales and players as a whole.

“For example, until now it has been taken for granted that software is offered to users at the same price regardless of how many titles they purchase in a year, be it one, five or even ten titles. Based on our account system, if we can offer flexible price points to consumers who meet certain conditions, we can create a situation where these consumers can enjoy our software at cheaper price points when they purchase more. Here, we do not need to limit the condition to the number of software titles they purchase.”

Another idea based on how to secure additional price cuts was elaborated upon, which could have discounts allotted to players who are responsible for getting a friend to purchase a Nintendo game.

“Inviting friends to start playing a particular software title is also an example of a possible condition.”

Wii U 2014

According to Nintendo’s translated financial slides, the goal of this discount-centric program is to give players that can’t afford a heap of games the chance to save some money and expand their collection. This in turn will create what the Big N hopes will be a more dedicated community as a result of the additional time spent on its formats. The more an individual plays games on a particular console, the more likely they’re to recommend software or even hardware purchases to friends or family.

“We aim to establish a new sales mechanism that will be beneficial to both consumers and software creators by encouraging our consumers to play more titles and increasing a platform’s active use ratio without largely increasing our consumers’ expenditures.”

Of course, since an official program has yet to be discussed, many are probably wondering when this ‘play more, save more’ policy may come into affect. The good news is that Nintendo actually plans to start experimenting with just such a premise very soon, although it’ll initially only be for the Wii U.

“Nintendo aims to work on this brand-new sales mechanism in the medium term, but we would like to start experimenting with Wii U at an early stage.”

Super Smash Bros Mario Kart 8 Wii U Spring Release

When the company decides it’s ready to test the waters in North America it’ll have two immediately available means of doing so: run the promotion through the Nintendo eShop; or make it a Club Nintendo exclusive deal. It’s also possible to do both simultaneously, but a trial run may only pertain to the eShop for the time being. This is, of course, just speculation, and the company may roll out an entirely different program all together.

This decision is a great one for consumers who planned on buying a majority of Nintendo’s first-party software anyway, but it’s also solid motivation to get others invested in the content being dispensed by the company. Getting deals for recommending games or consoles to friends allows entire groups to shift their social circle into a digital front and is a very smart way of building a dwindling user base. Whether or not this strategy will pan out remains to be seen, but dynamic and competitive pricing on triple-A games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda is a good start.


You can follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.

Source: Nintendo

TAGS: 3DS, Nintendo, Wii U

  • Avengers Assemble!!!

    I hope they do better this year…

  • Pak55

    Slashing prices and huge discounts, that’s a good sign right?

    • jm

      Nintendo`s operating loss this past year represents less than 10% of their estimated cash stockpile. Not to be confused with assets but money they just keep around for their daily money bath. They’re worth more as a company than the entirety of Sony.

      Doomsday is quite far off yet.

    • Riley Little

      It’s a much better means of dealing with the current situation than continuing on as if nothing is happening. Rewarding fans for purchasing content is far from a bad thing.

      • Daniel Carlson

        true but they will most likely use club nintendo as a way of tracking who purchases what. i bought like 6 games for wii u and like 8 for 3ds last year and i didnt keep the stupid codes. they are useless (i stopped using them because the US club nintendo is crap, compare it to the EU or JP Club N and tell me im wrong) so i dont me getting any discounts. Also discounts dont mean much if there isnt anything to buy. MK8 and SSB are the only titles im looking forward too so a discount on those would be nice but those are the only titles so far….

        • Daniel Carlson

          if monoliths X or the new LoZ get announced that would be a good year for ninty but they still read as TBD so….. 2015?

        • Riley Little

          I’m a big Club Nintendo supporter. I think what the company is doing on that front is a great way of keeping fans happy and it’s a means of rewarding them for their loyalty. Regardless of the territory (and corresponding prizes) it’s a very cool program that neither Sony or Microsoft are doing.

          If using Club Nintendo means I’m able to save (and this is just presuming) $5-$10 per additional title then that’s absolutely reasonable. If you took the time to register the games you mentioned then you could probably get some cool swag as well. Of course, it’s completely optional. 😉

  • Flauros

    Give Nintendo some credit, they made gaming what it is in a lot of ways and they always give you some reason own their console even if it isn’t immediately apparent.

    For example, DS sucked way harder than the 3ds for the first few years. It thrived almost solely on Pokemon and was flooded with shovel-ware. However, most look back on it as a success.

    The Wii didn’t actually have that much to offer from the start, but it came around when it needed to.

    The Wii U already has some excellent games (a lot faster than anyone else was able to push out HD, just bad timing). I would like to own many of them, but I don’t feel motivated to drop 60$ on each one. I look forward to seeing what approach they take here. Could also help people discover games they weren’t aware of via bargain hunting.

    • Joe

      Very true, and working retail, I’ve noticed that the PS4 and XBONE have been out a bit over 2 months and the only new things released since launch have been Tomb Raider and Rayman Legends is next…. games almost a year old.the first major title for Xbone Titanfall is a few months away and also coming for 360. the first major PS4 one will be Destiny (on ps4 AND xbone) in a few months still and also will be on PS3 and 360. The WiiU has a decent library of new games and downloadable games like unEpic. It also has an ENTIRE library of Wii games and Virtual console games. I bought a launch WiiU and hve not once been at a point where I had nothing to play or look forward to. Not to mention had a better time doing so.

      • Daniel Carlson

        dude theres a shit ton of major releases coming out for ps4 before september… a shit ton.

        • meowmisty

          you said it.

  • ashley

    Well I’m not interested in wii u anymore I want a console that is as powerful as PS4 or one that is more powerful than the ps4

    • Flauros

      Get a PC then, has a lot more to offer.

  • Mo


    Come on Nintendo. Show us why you’re such a video game industry giant. Do this huge shift in pricing strategies and the other companies will follow along just like they did with motion controls.

    Rock this industry like I know you can, buddy, and I promise to buy a Wii U and love it.

  • patrick

    How about a new Zelda or metroid please. Lots of people wait to buy new Nintendo consoles until those games are released.console is a year old. Where is the new Zelda or metroid? Hell, majoras mask would sell the console at this point

    • Flauros

      It always takes them some time to do those. Twilight Princess was a gimped Gamecube port and as a result one of the weakest mainline Zelda games. Corruption & Skyward Sword took some time to reach the market, but are both fantastic games by any standard.

      It’ll happen, people just need to be patient.