Iwata: Nintendo won’t drown its audience in paid DLC

Animal Crossing 3DS

Nintendo is slowly wading into the pool of modern video game economics, but don’t expect it to embrace every trend. The house of Mario may be ready to finally join the digital age, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to do business like the average iPhone game publisher, especially when it comes to DLC.

After a decade of half efforts, the company behind Mario is embracing online communities and digital distribution. New Super Mario Bros. 2 for Nintendo 3DS marked Nintendo’s first efforts selling full retail-style games through it’s Nintendo eShop, a practice it promises to continue on its new Wii U home console. Speaking of the Wii U, one of that machine’s core selling points is Miiverse, an online network that Nintendo describes as a social network that will offer multiplayer gaming and community features akin to Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. It’s even selling downloadable content like new levels for New Super Mario Bros. 2.

What Nintendo won’t be doing, however, is releasing games that are mostly supported by microtransactions. Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo’s relaxing social simulator a la The Sims, is ready made for paid downloadable content. Rather than find new furniture, clothes, and other goods for your little virtual town, why not just buy it? Despite the potential for profits, Nintendo refuses to do business like Zynga does with The Ville.

“Some might say that it would be unbelievably profitable to provide paid add-on content for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but we were concerned that a game in which you enjoy yourself more by the power of money would not be suitable, and we decided to avoid such a feature after an intensive discussion with the development team,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata during the company’s quarterly investor question-and-answer session, “[We] would like to like to find the type of add-on content consumers will find enjoyable in each game. We intend to basically create add-on content with which we will be able to make long-term relationships with our customers.”

This isn’t to say that Nintendo isn’t still interested in free-to-play gaming. Iwata said in June that Wii U especially won’t shy away from new models for getting games in people’s hands. “We have designed the system from a technical standpoint to allow developers to freely take advantage of things like free-to-play and microtransactions.”

Nintendo is in rougher financial shape than it’s been in nearly a decade. It would be understandable for the company’s executives to price gouge players, especially with collect-a-thons like Animal Crossing. That the company is concerned with not turning off players isn’t just impressive, it’s downright laudable. 


Apex Legends adds its first new gun, the Havoc energy rifle

Respawn added the first piece of new content to Apex Legends, the Havoc energy rifle. It's available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC players. The fully automatic rifle can be modded to shoot single-shot energy beams.

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in Destiny 2? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options. Fan-favorite third-party and exclusive games are also included.

Fortnite squads up with Ninja, Chan, and Samsung for exclusive K-pop skin

The Galaxy S10 Plus has features that make it great for mobile gaming and just like last year, Fortnite and Samsung have joined forces to bring an exclusive K-pop skin to the phone. Here's how you can get it.

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.