All of Nintendo's first mobile games will be free-to-play


In what is likely to be disappointing news for some gamers and brilliant news for all investors, it appears that Nintendo's forthcoming mobile titles will all be 'free to play', meaning that they will all contain some form of micropayments.

The news was first broken by the Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki and picked up by NintendoLife, citing the chief executive of DeNA, the company that Nintendo has partnered with the develop mobile games, as confirming the decision.

Not much is known about exactly what Nintendo is cooking up for mobile, though a few weeks ago we did learn about the game, Miitomo, which will be based around Nintendo's Mii avatars.


In the gaming community, free-to-play is broadly viewed unfavourably because of the theoretical ability of companies to rinse players of their cash if they want to be able to play the game to its fullest extent. While new for Nintendo, the practice is now pretty much the default option for mobile games.

One source of relief might be the attitude shown by Nintendo in Pokémon Shuffle, one of the company's first mobile releases. In the game – which is essentially Candy Crush mashed up with Pokémon – although micropayments are available to help players advance, the game is at pains to remind the player that they don't need to spend money to play the game.

It also isn't entirely clear how this news will impact forthcoming augmented reality title Pokémon Go, which is being developed by Google start-up Niantec.

  • Does this make you worried about Nintendo's plans? Let us know what you think in the comments.