Nintendo is worried that excessive microtransactions will harm its brand and reputation, and it’s asking mobile development partners to curb player spending in games, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Nintendo is apparently happy to sacrifice some revenue to maintain its family-friendly image. CyberAgent Inc., parent company of “Dragalia Lost” developer Cygames, reportedly told WSJ, “Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game. If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”
It also confirmed that “Dragalia Lost’s” revenue is below expectations, and Nintendo apparently told the studio to tweak the mobile action-RPG after players complained it was too difficult to unlock rare characters through its gacha-style loot box mechanic. The game has made over $75 million worldwide on the App Store and Google Play, surpassing the lifetime revenue of fellow Nintendo mobile titles “Super Mario Run” and “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp,” according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower. But, its lifetime revenue pales in comparison to “Fire Emblem Heroes,” which has made more than $500 million since its launch in February 2017.
Nintendo wouldn’t confirm that conversation with CyberAgent Inc. happened, but it did tell WSJ it talks to development partners about “various things, not just limited to payments, to deliver high-quality fun to consumers.”
During the 2018 Computer Entertainment Developers Conference (CEDEC), Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto cautioned against nickel-and-diming players and urged them to adopt fixed prices, according to Bloomberg.
“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.