The Nintendo logo on display at their booth during 2011 E3 expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg *** Local Caption ***

While a lot of mobile users would prefer to always see the term “free” when looking for games to play on their devices, the head of one of the biggest game providers would rather not use the term “free to play” in describing the games that they put out, as it gives a different impression. He would rather people know that they can play the games for free at first, and then they have the option to making real-life payments later on, if they want to finish the game faster or advance further.

Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata told investors in a Q&A session that he was worried that the low-priced games are actually devaluing the price of premium games that would cost consumers more (which most of the time is worth it). So instead of focusing on games with one-time payment, which he believes haven’t been doing well in terms of mobile games sales, he would rather the company explore more the idea of free games.

But he would rather not use the “free to play” term that has been prevalent. “Instead, we use the term ‘free-to-start,’ as this term more aptly describes that at the beginning you can start to play for free,” he says. He however assured investors and the public that Nintendo has no intention of changing their business model into something that would ask “excessive amounts of money”.

So far, Nintendo has been keeping its word in terms of its console games. For example, in their 3DS game, Pokemon Rumble, there is a certain limit on how much actual cash you can spend. Their first mobile game for smartphones and tablets is expected to be out this year.

VIA: Pocket Gamer


  1. Well, I hope Nintendo’s free to start games, is one time payment, instead of multiple payments throughout the game. Other than that I have no problem with free to start games, because, at least you have a good idea, of how the will work and feel, to see if you really want the game. But what type of games are they going to release under the free to start genre.


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