Nintendo recently announced that it will be developing Mario and Donkey Kong games for mobile smartphones and that these games will be free to play. In cooperation with DeNA, Nintendo plans to release the first games in March 2016. Details about the apps, including the names of the actual titles, remain a mystery. For now, the only mobile app we know anything about is Miitomo, so here’s hoping more details emerge soon.
The big N’s foray into the mobile market has met with widespread approval from fans and has also been healthy for the company’s stocks. Its decision to release its first set of mobile games for free is both a fan pleaser and a wise marketing strategy, as in-app transactions have proven in the past to be profitable endeavors. On the other hand, many gamers are wary of free-to-play games and dislike the idea of spending money in order to gain benefits in games.
@nintendolife freemium is a business model that needs to die!
— Richard Langworthy (@richardeane) November 11, 2015
“I don’t think Nintendo has a very smart mobile strategy,” complain fans as they buy another go in Badge Arcade. https://t.co/nFIgqiEz9j
— Jeremy Parish (@gamespite) November 11, 2015
Of course, players don’t necessarily need to spend money on freemium games in order to play. It just makes the game more convenient. And don’t forget, there are real people putting real time and effort into these apps. As a developer, it’s their right to make earnings from their products. Whether the practice of freemium is evil or not, money speaks louder than words. As long as players claim to dislike it while still making in-app purchases, companies will listen to the profits, not the tweets.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.