Nintendo eyes F2P, mulls subscription options

Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata says the Japanese-based gaming company is open to considering alternative business models in the future, including free-to-play (F2P) as well as subscription based platforms.

“We think that digital distribution of packaged software is only the first step in expanding our digital business,” Iwata explained during a recent briefing transcribed by CVG.

“We will not simply change our existing packaged software distribution channel. Rather, we might have many other types of business models in addition to packaged software.”

According to Iwata, gamers might see more games similar to free-to-play, titles that cost much less or games that require a monthly subscription fee.

“Digitization allows for greater flexibility, whereby having more ways to make payments, both software developers and consumers have more options,” he said.

“And Nintendo 3DS and Wii U have flexible systems to handle such trends, so it is now a question of putting these ideas into action. I can definitely say that Nintendo will make new offers that go well beyond simply replacing packaged software with digital software.”

It should be noted that Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime recently confirmed that the company had chalked up a significant increase in US-based 3DS games sales, with digital content playing a large part in the jump.

“We have 15 Nintendo-published titles available, both physically and digitally [on the 3DS]… So far in 2013, of those 15 available in this format, 11 per cent of sales have come through full digital downloads of those games,” he added.