Free-to-play games have gotten a bad rap in the past few months. These games will often have very intrusive advertisements and the occasional microtransaction page to remind you that you can spend your money for upgrades, power-ups, or even more playtime. While the developers are often frowned upon by much of the game console audience for making such unnecessary heavy use of microtransactions, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata does not believe “Free-to-play” is a proper name for the model.
In a recent interview with Time, Satoru Iwata said:
I do not like to use the term ‘Free-to-play.’ I have come to realize that there is a degree of insincerity to consumers with this terminology, since so-called ‘Free-to-play’ should be referred to more accurately as ‘Free-to-start.’
He proceeds to shed light on the integrity of Nintendo’s games and the approach to the ‘free-to-start’ model:
The thing that concerns me most is that, in the digital age, if we fail to make efforts to maintain the value of our content, there is the high possibility for the value to be greatly reduced as the history of the music industry has shown. On the other hand, I have no intention to deny the Free-to-start model. In fact, depending on how we approach this model, we may be able to overcome these problems.
We are very interested in what Mr. Iwata’s plans are for mobile devices. Stay tuned to Nintendo 24/7 for more Nintendo news.