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.”
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.”
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.
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