News Article

"Trustworthy" Third Parties Get Microtransactions Go-Ahead

Posted by Mike Mason

Horse armour anybody?

Downloadable content, software updates and microtransactions are not things that owners of Nintendo systems have been hugely exposed to in the past, but things are about to change. With expanded online offering Nintendo Network on the cards for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, third party developers will soon be allowed to sell additional content such as extra levels, or pretty hats.

Explaining the stance at an investor Q & A, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata noted that third parties should be given the opportunity to further their digital approach on Nintendo consoles with a fair degree of flexibility — provided that they are of a trustworthy nature.

As a hardware manufacturer, or platform holder, it would be better to present third party developers with as much freedom as possible. Some say that the guidelines and regulations we previously established are too strict and behind the times, and others say that Nintendo should not put too many restrictions on the features of software targeting the consumers who are familiar with microtransactions. Therefore, we plan to ensure a relative level of flexibility for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U software compatible with the Nintendo Network as long as the developer has built a trusting relationship with consumers, except for the cases that consumers will be too disadvantaged.

When pushed on the subject of social games, Iwata decreed that it was up to third party developers to come up with the goods, again reiterating that Nintendo will allow exploration of this area provided that customers are not exploited.

If third-party developers would like to adopt this form of microtransaction, and if this kind of business relationship between the developers and consumers is commonly accepted in Japan, we have no intention to decline it. Please understand that this is totally up to each developer, and I am not in the position to say yes or no. Again, we will not turn down such requests by third party developers as far as they can establish an appropriate relationship with their customers.

How do you feel about downloadable content and microtransactions coming to Nintendo consoles? Do you welcome the move or worry that developers will hold back content?

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (31)

BenAV

#1

BenAV said:

Sounds fine to me.
As long as they don't try to abuse this then it'll only be a good thing.

Mok

#3

Mok said:

It makes the games more flexible and dynamic, that's always a good thing for console games. In the past you would think twice before buying a game knowing that once it's completed you chuck it on the shelf or sell it. I'm not in the habit of selling my games, I like them on my shelf, but I really hope Nintendo nurtures the idea of prolonging their games' life.

LeasTwanteD

#4

LeasTwanteD said:

Dear Mr. Iwata,
please acknoledge that there's money to be made outside of the Japanese market too. Not everything in the world depends on it.


More freedom most often is a good thing. We have to get enough information about the games we intend to buy though. I don't want to buy an empty shell where i don't know how much more i must invest afterwards to make it enjoyable or worthwhile. If you have this information you just have to be consistent and not get something you don't really want. It's the only way to show companies how you feel imo.

PS: It would be interesting to know what examples he refers to when he says "except for the cases that consumers will be too disadvantaged". :o

SkywardLink98

#10

SkywardLink98 said:

As long as what's on the cartridge (Or original download) is enough to be considered a full games and you aren't paying $40 for half of one and another $40 for the rest.

dizzy_boy

#11

dizzy_boy said:

i don`t mind DLC as long as it`s worth paying for.
i wouldn`t even pay for anything if it doesn`t actually affect the gameplay.
clothes, hat`s and shiney new shoes should be made free, things like new levels, race tracks, upgrades etc, then yes, i would consider it.

Neram

#14

Neram said:

I'm worried that developers will hold back content. Capcom has been terrible for that and I totally trusted them before this generation.

SeVok

#16

SeVok said:

People need to be reminded, DLC is optional. Don't like it ? Don't buy it, there is no more powerful message than that.

Bass_X0

#17

Bass_X0 said:

Capcom has been terrible for that and I totally trusted them before this generation.

clothes, hat`s and shiney new shoes should be made free,

When a small company puts out big games, the extra cost has to come from somewhere to develop them. I don't believe Capcom as a company are the giants they were back in the nineties but they still deliver the goods, for a cost. Their DLC is mostly limited to optional visual cosmetics. People complain when important gameplay features such as characters and Gems are DLC.

TimboBaggins

#19

TimboBaggins said:

Yes. A million times yes. Nintendo can still have regulations to keep companies from selling unfinished games.

LordTendoboy

#23

LordTendoboy said:

Iwata wrote:

"Please understand that this is totally up to each developer, and I am not in the position to say yes or no. Again, we will not turn down such requests by third party developers as far as they can establish an appropriate relationship with their customers."

It seems like Nintendo is relaxing their strict policies with third party developers/publishers, and it's about time.

StarDust4Ever

#24

StarDust4Ever said:

Forget Horse armor for Epona. That's the kind of crap that should be earned/unlocked in game. I know it ain't gonna happen, but how about some shiny mecha-armour suit for Bowser? And play as Bowser, too! That would be wicked sweet terrorizing the inhabitants of SM3DL, and kidnapping Peach with an evil giant robot Bowser, LOL! :D

LOL, Nintendo should make a game where you play as Bowser and the primary goal is to kidnap the Princess! :D

Luso_GS

#26

Luso_GS said:

I want to have single player vs in mario kart 7, oh and the battle style like in mario kart DS

Capt_N

#28

Capt_N said:

@StarDust: #24 I agree w/ that a lot.

But I share everyone's sentiments that as long as Nintendo, & devs don't take advantage of consumers via this system, it should be ok. I hope Iwata is referring to exactly that, when he says "appropriate relationship w/ consumers", b/c if Nintendo filtered out of the game devs that take advantage of consumers, that has a chance of raising public view of Nintendo, for watching out for it's consumers.

Cats

#29

Cats said:

DLC is a great concept that works well by adding new life to old games.

That being said, games USED to have several (if not hundreds) of things to unlock which increased the life.

It used to be "enter this secret code" or "finish the game with this character" to unlock that thing. With DLC, a partially developed game can be released, or extras can be held back.

I don't think there's a word for it yet, but it's somewhat related to racketeering and extortion.

Bass_X0

#31

Bass_X0 said:

a partially developed game can be released,

Wind Waker was partially developed yet it had no DLC. DLC would have allowed it to be completed as was intended.

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