Isao Moriyasu of DeNA confirms that all of Nintendo’s smartphone games currently in development are free-to-play, and likely rely on microtransactions.
Despite resisting the urge to step foot into the lucrative smartphone gaming market for many years, Nintendo finally took the plunge when they announced a partnership with DeNA to develop games for mobile devices. So far, both Nintendo and DeNA have yet to speak much on what these games will entail, but it’s now been revealed that all of Nintendo’s smartphone games currently in development are free-to-play.
This news comes straight from the CEO of DeNA, Isao Moriyasu, who confirmed as much in a recent interview. It is then safe to assume that Nintendo’s first batch of smartphone games will rely on microtransactions to make money.
So far, we only know of one of Nintendo’s smartphone games, that being Miitomo. Little is known about Miitomo beyond the fact that it utilizes the Mii characters that players can create on various Nintendo consoles, and its functionality will involve sharing data with other users. We already knew that Miitomo will be free-to-play, though it’s surprising that all of the Nintendo smartphone games currently in development are going that route.
Right now, we have no idea what those other mobile games entail beyond their free-to-play status. It seems safe to assume that at least one will star Nintendo’s iconic Mario character, but the jury is out on what other Nintendo franchises will be utilized in the company’s new venture. Five Nintendo smartphone games will release by March 2017, so we’ll likely hear more about the games sooner rather than later.
We know we won’t be finding out anything more about Nintendo’s smartphone games during the next Nintendo Direct, however. Rather, it will be covering titles that are in development for the 3DS and the Wii U, despite Miitomo releasing for mobile devices just a few months from now.
In any case, expect to learn more about Nintendo’s mobile games in the next few months. Perhaps a mobile-specific Nintendo Direct will be produced, or maybe Nintendo will simply allow DeNA to handle the bulk of the company’s mobile division. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see if future Nintendo mobile titles are free-to-play as well, especially since Nintendo doesn’t like the term “free-to-play.”
How do you feel about Nintendo becoming involved with the smartphone gaming business? Do you wish the Big N would stick to home consoles and handhelds, or are you excited to see what the company can cook up for mobile devices? Sound off in the comments below and let us know your thoughts on Nintendo’s surprising venture into the realm of mobile gaming.