At an analyst briefing during E3, Nintendo has confirmed that it plans to launch its first free-to-play title at some point during the current fiscal year — that's the end of March 2014.
There's no confirmation of platform or title just yet, so we'll have to wait to find out if it's Wii U or 3DS that will be home to Nintendo's first experiment in the free-to-play market. Nintendo hopes that DLC initiatives, such as upcoming expansion pack Super Luigi U, and free-to-play titles will help to boost digital sales on its systems.
However, don't get your hopes up for Mushroom Kingdom: Tapped Out or Pikachu virtual pet simulators. Nintendo has ruled out free-to-play Mario and Pokémon titles due to the franchises' positive relationships with consumers — something it doesn't want to sour. Could this mean that a new IP is on the way, so as to minimise the risk of diluting an existing brand, or could we see the revival of another, smaller series revamped with free-to-play in mind?
Nintendo plans to boost digital sales with launches like new super luigi u but also the first free to play game— David Gibson (@gibbogame) June 12, 2013
Nintendo free to play game will be released this fy but will not be Mario or Pokemon game as already have good relationship in those brands— David Gibson (@gibbogame) June 12, 2013
FY is fiscal year ending march 2014— David Gibson (@gibbogame) June 12, 2013
Is there any particular Nintendo series that you'd like to see made into a free-to-play title?