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Nintendo preps free-to-play title

Wii U maker tells analysts it will explore new business model with non-Mario, non-Pokemon game by end of fiscal year

Nintendo may be resisting bringing its brands to smartphones and tablets, but it's still interested in the business models that have driven the mobile boom. As spotted by Polygon, analyst David Gibson attended a Nintendo briefing event at E3 today and tweeted about the company's intention to explore free-to-play.

"Nintendo free-to-play game will be released this [fiscal year] but will not be Mario or Pokemon game as already have good relationship in those brands," Gibson said. (Nintendo's fiscal year ends in March of 2014.)

While the platform of that game wasn't specified, Gibson said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata made the remark in a section of the briefing dedicated to the Wii U. Iwata also said that the 3DS' success in Japan is proof that dedicated handheld platforms can thrive despite the competition from smartphones.

Nintendo has already indicated that it would welcome free-to-play business models on the Wii U. One of the earliest games announced for the system was Ubisoft's free-to-play Ghost Recon Online. However, that project never actually launched on the system.

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Latest comments (2)

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development3 years ago
This doesn't sit too well with the piece elsewhere here from Nintendo. The one about infinite replayability and coming back to games many years later instead of selling them.

Make your minds up, fellas.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Paul: They can do both and not come off as hypocrites thanks to Nintendo Land's game experiment that can probably be expanded on greatly if made into a more interactive follow-up that melds in the Miiverse function and is much bigger than Nintendo Land's mini-game focus. It might end up like SOE's Free Realms or a Wizard 101-style experience, which would get families in right away who own the console and want to dip a toe into the online gaming space.

Eh, we'll see...
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