Nintendo confirms upcoming smartphone games will be free to download

When a big-name console gaming company gets ready to enter the smartphone world, we’ve got to get our expectations in order. Sure, this might mean the arrival of some high-quality titles, and maybe even some new additions to beloved gaming franchises, but when you’ve been selling games at $50 a pop for the past 30 years, how do you market to smartphone users accustomed to shelling out maybe just a buck or two on casually acquired apps? Nintendo’s got its first smartphone games in development now, and while the first title doesn’t sound that revolutionary, there’s been the hope that some of the future games could be more traditional console-style fare. Today, though, we’re wondering just how premium they might actually be, as we get word that all titles currently in development will be free to download.

But what does that really mean? Right now, there are four more confirmed titles on the way, none of which Nintendo’s publicly shared details about. This free-to-play situation could extend to the first of those, or all four, depending on how far along things are.

It’s also not clear if the games might be initially free, but require purchases to unlock additional content – maybe as some sort of chapter system. Another option could involve micotransactions, as Nintendo’s already started experimenting with on its 3DS system.

Considering the current state of the smartphone gaming market, this is probably a route Nintendo felt it had to follow to have any shot at being competitive. We still remain incredibly curious to get the rest of the picture on the company’s in-development titles, including just how payments will or won’t factor in to gameplay.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!