Nintendo Not Ruling Out Free-To-Play Games For The Wii U
During an analyst Q&A Satoru Iwata wouldn't rule out the possibility of Nintendo experimenting with the free-to-play platform
It seems like more details and more games were shown off outside of Nintendo's press conference than during the actual show itself. During an analyst Q&A session Satoru Iwata was pressured to answer all the questions we have about the Wii U that Nintendo isn't ready to answer. Mr. Iwata as expected refused to give detailed answers on things like price and release date but he was more than happy to discuss more of the digital distribution side of things as well as the social aspects of the upcoming system.
Iwata had this to say in regards to the Wii U's digital platform and the upside to allowing developers to have the tools and chance to make good use of the systems hardware and features.
”With respect to the Wii U system, when we began working on it, one of our goals was to have a variety of purchase options and additional e-commerce options available at its launch. And because of that, we have prepared a Digital Rights Management system. We have designed the system from a technical standpoint to allow developers to freely take advantage of things like free to play and micro transactions...”
”As we’ve shared with you previously, for the Wii U hardware system, from the beginning, we’ve planned to make it possible for people to release their games as either an optical disc or as digital content. So publishers would be able to choose from both of those options.”
”Currently, we are in discussions with the publishers by sharing with them our offer in this area. Through that process, if publishers accept it as reasonable, games in the digital format will be available from the launch time. There are no technical restrictions...”
”I do think that we can improve profitability because with digital goods you avoid things like the cost of goods for media. You do not have the cost of shipping physical goods and you also can hold down inventory risks.”
Another topic addressed at the Q&A was the possibility of Nintendo experimenting with the free-to-play model that has been increasing in popularity with titles like League of Legends and Super Monday Night Combat. When questioned on the matter Iwata said, “We would like those who highly recognize the value of the products we have created to play them. What I am trying to say is that we are not considering introducing a free-to-play game if the game itself is not suitable in that fashion. I have no intention to deny every possibility of free-to-play.”
With an answer like that Nintendo isn't ruling anything out but they certainly aren't committing to anything either. Obviously we aren't going to be seeing any sort of free-to-play Super Mario but it would be interesting if the next Animal Crossing went free to play. I could see that working out pretty nicely for them actually. There are all great details to hear but, I'm more than ready to get the answers we all want. When is the Wii U coming out? How much money to I have to fork over? It's only a matter of time now.