×

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto Criticizes Free-to-Play Games Model

Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto thinks the industry needs to shun the free-to-play business model and deliver titles at fixed prices, Bloomberg reports.

The “Super Mario Bros.” and “Donkey Kong” creator made those comments at the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference in Yokohama, Japan, on Wednesday.

“We’re lucky to have such a giant market, so our thinking is, if we can deliver games at reasonable prices to as many people as possible, we will see big profits,” he said.

He went on to admit that Nintendo’s fixed-cost model hasn’t been a big success, referring specifically to “Super Mario Run,” the company’s first foray into mobile gaming. Many criticized its relatively high price compared to other apps on the market.

Other Nintendo mobile games like “Fire Emblem Heroes” and “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” adopted free-to-play models. “Fire Emblem,” a gacha-style tactical RPG, is doing especially well for Nintendo. It’s reportedly earned over $400 million in revenue since its launch in February 2017. “Pocket Camp” has reportedly made over $25 million since its debut, but players recently criticized a new feature that added loot box-style Fortune Cookies to the game. Nintendo and developer Cygames are currently working on a new mobile RPG called “Dragalia Lost” that will likely be free-to-play as well.

But Miyamoto said Nintendo will continue pushing forward with the fixed-cost model until it becomes entrenched.

“That way everyone can develop games in a comfortable environment. By focusing on bringing games to the widest range of people possible, we can continue boosting our mobile game business,” he said.

Popular on Variety

8 Comments
  1. So as usual it’s terrible until Nintendo does it?

    Let me remind you people this is the same company that is against video game preservation, who are bullying other sites off the Internet.

  2. The microtransactions exploit people. It creates gambling addicts. Its the exact same thing. Buy a loot box, chest, whatever, to see what you get. Atleast fartnite lets the player choose what they want, but with most of the other f2p games, the gamers are fucked. Theyre buying a box with random $hit in it. They dont get what they wanted, they buy another one, and another one, then mommy and daddy get pissed off that lil jr stole their debit card to purchase all that imaginary crap. I prefer the single player games myself. I like an engaging story line and the ability to play offline but I like multiplayer too. I like all games but I dontlike being exploited or having to deal with a p2win game system like neverwinter either. But its all good. I simply avoid those type of games.

  3. You named one successful F2P game (And think it’s better than Zelda and Mario? … to each their own?)

    Take a guess how many complete and udder trash F2P titles are out there in comparison, and more being released every day.

    His point is that fixed price titles put day one quality over F2P, or even some of the alpha/beta/early access unfinished “games” that have slowly become the norm. Yes, there are still “full priced” games that lack in quality, but side by side that % with F2P/Alpha, and see how many are considered fully playable.

    Stop accepting “good enough”. Spend $60 on something that’s completed, instead of beta testing, or worse… Racking up way more in coats $0.99 at a time… There’s a reason there are so many “‘let’s play’ this terrible f2p game” YouTubers…

  4. “Fortnite is free and better than most games on his system or that hes ever made”

    One of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard on the internet, and pretty much sums up the intelligence of the rest of your comment.

  5. The only one out of touch here is you. Nintendo has sold more consoles and software than any gaming company in history and the Switch has been a smash hit that is continuing that trend. Also, Nintendo also ALWAYS had the number 1 hand held console in the world. No one has ever usurped them, not even for a single generation, yet you think the ship is sinking? Do facts and statistics not exist on the planet you live on?

    There isn’t a single company who can compete with Nintendo when it comes to individual IPs either. Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros, Splatoon, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, Xenoblade Chronicles, ARMS, Pokemon, Kid Icarus; the list goes on and on. The F2P model totally takes advantage of the consumer enticing people to spend hundreds of dollars on a single game. Have fun spending $300 on Fortnite. I’ll buy a handful of great Nintendo games with that money. Oh, and when the servers go down, and inevitably they will, what will you play then? Fortnite, Paladins, Overwatch; those games are online only. There is no solo campaign. Have fun with that.

More Gaming

  • Scopely founders

    Mobile-Games Company Scopely Raises $200 Million From Chernin Group, Advance

    Scopely, a mobile-games developer, announced an additional $200 million as part of its Series D funding round from Advance, whose holdings include Condé Nast, and Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group (TCG). The new funding doubles the size of the original $200 million Series D round Scopely announced last fall and brings the company to over [...]

  • Games to Get Lost in

    The Best Video Games to Get Lost in While Self-Isolating

    “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” finally released on Friday, giving players the opportunity to travel to an island paradise and build a community there. For gamers with fairly different tastes, on that same day, “Doom: Eternal” also debuted, allowing those at home to battle through the demonic forces of hell. Either way, it’s an escape. And for [...]

  • Activision-Blizzard-Overwatch-League-Grand-Finals-2018

    Overwatch League Cancels All March, April Events Due to Coronavirus

    The Overwatch League has cut all of its events through March and April, another major cancellation in gaming and esports as the industry grapples with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Activision Blizzard announced the move with a statement on Wednesday, the same day the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global pandemic. The publisher said it’s monitoring “city-level [...]

  • E3 2019

    E3 2020 Canceled After 'Overwhelming Concerns' About Coronavirus

    E3 organizers, bowing to the inevitable, announced that this year’s video-games conference scheduled for June in L.A. has been canceled because of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. Last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, drew 66,100 attendees. The 2020 gaming showcase had been scheduled to run June 9-11 at the Los Angeles Convention Center [...]

  • Jeff Sagansky Harry Sloan

    Jeff Sagansky, Harry Sloan Partner on $600 Million IPO

    Veteran Hollywood executives Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan are launching Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp. with a $600 million initial public offering. It’s the sixth public acquisition vehicle since 2011 launched by Sagansky and Sloan. These kind of acquisition companies have gained in popularity in recent years as a means for investors to participate in new [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content