Despite claims that Nintendo will aim to avoid the "freemium" route for its smartphone releases, it has been confirmed by the Wall Street Journal that the forthcoming Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem titles will both be free to download and will be supported by in-game transactions - something which was mooted back in 2015.
Free-to-play games naturally get downloaded in larger numbers as the barrier to entry is removed, but this usually means the gameplay is focused around "pay to win" mechanics where the player is encouraged to spend real-world money to progress, rather than rely on their own skill.
It's this system of milking players for cash that has earned mobile gaming so much criticism from some sectors of the gaming community, and it remains to be seen if Nintendo can strike a balance which avoids such issues. Free-to-play can also mean offering small demos of titles before asking players to pay for the full package, or withholding expansion elements behind a paywall - something Nintendo has done on 3DS with Fire Emblem Fates and its new map packs.
While this might not be the ideal news, Tom Nook should do some brisk business - he might finally get the chance to lay his paws on some real-world cash.
(insert $10 to pass this stage)
(insert $5 to unlock a resident slot)
(insert $2 to use this special skill more than once a day)
Yeah, it will be great. Please, do not follow Pokémon Shuffle (mobile) and Picross (3DS) free-to-play model. Please.
I'm not too fussed by this; I trust Nintendo to do a good and fair job with them. I'm just hoping it doesn't ruin Animal Crossing for me! (any more than Amiibo Festival did... -_-)
I've been content to not purchase coins for Miitomo yet, hopefully we'll all have the willpower to do the same for animal crossing
I got bored of Miitomo pretty quickly. Free to play games never have much depth. I doubt we'll be getting a full Animal Crossing or Fire Emblem experience anyway.
Ugh. Just, ugh. Don't be gross Nintendo.
Yep. Its doom all right for FE that is.
Nintendo, get away from mobile. Its really not something worth going into and it'll only damage your IP if not handled with care.
If it's like Pokemon Shuffle I'm ok with that. Not like i had to spend money there even though i did spend a dollar.
Nintendo, if you want to make money with mobile and gouge mobile users for everything they're worth, the goal is Fee To Pay, not Free to Play. Find the whales, and poach them all.
Let's see how this rolls before we assume this is bad.
we knew this, they confirmed ages ago that ALL SIX MOBILE TITLES will be free to play.
Think its pretty much settled now that all most all the profit in mobile gaming comes from FTP games.
@BensonUii exactly the whole concept of this games is to appeal to the Wii and DS gamer who left for phones. Its not for us, if chumps want to pay for clothing, faster respawns or an wallpaper for animal crossing let them, we get the benefits of it A)not being on the NX B)more money for Nintendo to play with
Micro transactions incoming.
I certainly won't be putting any money into it, not even tempted to download unless there's some easy My Nintendo coins.
That's somewhat good news but very vague. It could mean anything.
That's fine, I wasn't going to download this rubbish anyway.
If it's along the lines of the first chapter/part/element being free, then you pay to unlock further chapters or the whole game, I'm ok with that. Ghost Trick on iOS did that I think. Almost makes it like a demo, draws the crowd in.
However if it is like a proper 'pay to win' type model then I am very disappointed.
I think it`ll be a profitable move from Nintendo, but I have to say. I really dislike the majority of free to play games..
@abe_hikura They also said that their mobile games would be "premium", so there's room for confusion here.
Not a fan of free to play games either but can't blame Nintendo for giving it a go. With Miitomo and Pokemon Shuffle I haven't paid a single penny.
@GravyThief looking at their other free to play games, fullbox world, pokemon rumble world and such pretty sure that's the way they'll take it
I hate free to play games. I don't like the idea of Animal Crossing going this route. this turns away a long time fan like myself
I think Nintendo did mention that their other mobile entries could be 'Free To Start'. Which is different than 'Free To Play'. The former is more likely a couple of introductory levels or activities but to unlock the rest of the content there will be a price. As respected as the WSJ is I think this reveal is perhaps a misinterpretation and should not be taken as fact just yet.
I'm happy to buy full games, and I'm fine with buying DLC when it's done right. I've bought Monument Valley, which is a great smartphone game.
However, I will almost never spend any money on microtransactions. I get no enjoyment from constantly trying to work out whether to spend money while trying to play a game. Plus, spending money to speed up something in a game feels a bit like cheating to me.
I'll try Nintendo's free to play smartphone games, but won't spend any money. If the paywall causing too much grinding, then I'll get bored and stop playing.
Boooo! Boo this to hell! >
If this is the same calibre of pay-to-win crap like Pokémon Shuffle is, or no-matter-how-much-money-you-pay-you-will-never-have-full-access-to-this-game garbage like Nintendo Badge Arcade and Miitomo are, then I am not at all interested. Nintendo have shown no indication whatsoever that they intend to rise above the abhorrent practices of all of the other mobile publishers. Most microtransactions are essentially cheat codes concealed behind a paywall.
If we have at least have the option to "own" the game outright, then fine, but if microtransactions are the only type of transaction offered by the game, then I doubt that either of these will be getting my attention (except for My Nintendo points).
This is the direction that Nintendo is headed and it makes me feel yucky
Now also doomed on mobile!
Not surprising, but I'd rather pay a bit and it leave me alone then have this set up. As long as it's not very needed like with Miitomo, we may be fine though. Many games abuse the crap out of this sort of thing though.
I love Fire Emblem, it's my favorite franchise, EVER, and I'm mixed about this game, while more FE is always good, I don't trust mobile to hold a good game.
It's not a great system, it also means that the games were built from the ground up with this in mind. So even if there was a non free to play version it wouldn't hold up as well. But, Nintendo has had some practice and success with free to play on the 3DS, both pokemon shuffle and pokemon picross (to a lesser degree) do free to play rather well. And Miitomo doesn't require a buy in unless you play the thing for hours and buy lots of clothing.
I just hope Fire Emblem's like most of the F2P games from Nintendo (not all, Pokemon Picross annoyed me for essentially forcing me to grind for weeks if I didn't want to spend money) in that I can play the game start to end in a reasonable amount of time if I don't pay into it.
I just hope Nintendo don't go too far with the freemium stuff.
I have never and will never pay a cent on any mobile free to play game.
There is only one FTP mobile game that has kept me interested for more than a week and that is Dragon Mania Legends.
Whatever. What they do on mobile is what they do on mobile.
Maybe like Pokemon Picross where you have the option to "buy" the game and get rid of micro transactions. Either way, I'll enjoy the free ride for my Nintendo coins!
Can't you just picture fire emblem? This is how it will go:
"Steel Axe broke! 😞:Que sad jingle:😞 Would you like to purchase another 20 uses for 1.99? (40 uses for 3.99)"
"Change Villager's hair for 2.99? (One time use)"
Wait they didn't already confirm this?Guess I just assumed considering how obvious it was.
Let the Animal Crossing game be Happy Home Designer but with actual, defined goals. Your transaction options will be additional furniture packs and stores for the local economy and city to flourish...rendering you more opportunities to redecorate or villagers eager to get their houses redecorated for the nth time.
Let the Fire Emblem gane be a visual novel. "Romantic" routes with characters other than yourself are locked behind a paywall or My Nintendo points. Skinship is DLC.
Where's my pay, Nintendo?
I hope it will be like pokemon rumble in its approach
Pretty much expected this, expect some pricey microtransaction incoming.
with this alone, there will be a million downloads day on in Japan alone. I never pay to win and I'm certain Nintendo will not do that so Free to Play is fine with me.
I can kinda see Animal Crossing mini games or something, but I'm really not thrilled with the idea of Fire Emblem coming to phones.
Good. I have zero intention of spending money in mobile games. Free little bursts of gameplay for occasions where I can't be using a 3DS sound about right.
With an acceptable balance between optional in-app-purchases and blatant pay-walls this should be considered a sound move by Nintendo. Throw in the obligatory My Nintendo platinum coins daily/weekly rewards and I'll be on board!
So many people moaning! There's so just no pleasing some peopl
Mobile gaming. Sigh.
Something that I've never done and will never do. Phones aren't for gaming.
@rushiosan Oh man, Pokemon Shuffle was great, but I raqe quit after a while because the f2p model is so stupid! Like I considered spending money at one point, but then I realized it wouldn't do anything useful!
Ha! I love that artwork at the top!
Maybe it'll be just a traditional Animal Crossing game with options to purchase items to complete sets or to purchase special sets and clothing. That'd be good.
People do have short memories, but we've known for quite a while that ALL of Nintendo's first 5 mobile games will be 'free-to-start'.
@Thegentleman Exactly. I have no problem with the Free to Start model employed by Pokemon Rumble World. I was thrilled when I discovered there was a cap on how much you were allowed to spend and that ultimately you've bought the game outright.
@MasterWario That game is still great on 3DS. Pretty balanced, the catch rate is still decent and you can farm money on Meowth anytime. Mobile spoiled things up with no apparent reason. Maybe to force users into the 3DS version even more? Not sure.
Has anyone spent a dime in miitomo? I've been on every day since launch but resisted the urge (actually lacked any urge) to put real $$ into getting coins or tickets to acquire new outfits. That pretty much allays my fears that Big N will have some really obtuse micro transactions in its forthcoming releases.
I'll withhold judgment until I play the games. Nintendo isn't Rovio, after all.
The whole point of Nintendo's mobile program is to get more people to get dedicated Nintendo consoles right? Therefore, I think 3DS and Wii U owners will get some sort of benefit such as being able to earn the 'premium currency' by playing on their dedicated consoles. The premium currency might be platinum points.
lol, think I actually jinxed it....Amiibo Festival Mobile Edition.
I'd much prefer a simple one time purchase, but, maybe they'll surprise us with something good. Was Rusty's Real Deal any good? I never tried it.
I haven't spent anything in Miitomo. I trust that Nintendo will keep DeNA in check to ensure that micro transactions and P2W mechanics are minimum. Look at Pokemon Shuffle and Rumble World.. They're FTP but don't shove the microtransactions in your face. At least, I never felt like they did and never spent anything on those either. Nintendo isn't THAT greedy.
I expected this. As long as the microtransactions are handled well, I won't be mad.
@Megumi_Sagano I think that would actually be good on mobile. A full game might be harder to pull of well.
Didn't Iwata before he died said that: These are not Free-to-Play, they are Free-to-Start
I've already made this prediction on other threads, but I'll bet my left foot that the FE game is set up more or less like Fates, but with the intro chapters being free, and the various campaigns being behind a paywall, with some additional DLC. None of that bothers me. I'm much more concerned about the simplifications they have planned for the gameplay.
Generally though, I'm not overly worried about the plans. Nintendo does a pretty good job of protecting its IPs, which are probably its most important assets.
"It's this system of milking players for cash that has earned mobile gaming so much criticism from some sectors of the gaming community"
Now it's when many of those people say that it's a great idea, because you know, Nintendo is the one doing it.
@uhhhhhhhh That could be the case. In Animal Crossing, Nintendo has a limitless amount of things they could charge for. As @Damo implied in the article, since the first Animal Crossing (GameCube), we are used to visiting Tom Nook at his store. The cynical bunny of Nintendo Badge Shop is a good example of what could Tom Nook's role be from now on.
Complains that Nintendo games aren't on other devices.
Complains that Nintendo games are on other devices.
I'm happy Nintendo is trying out the mobile phone market. I think as long as Nintendo makes everything obtainable without giving money these will be great. It's when mobile games force you to pay in order to get to the next level that they become bad. I'm hoping the AC mobile game will be a companion app for a real game coming out on the NX which sounds like they've mentioned that.
Free to start and I'm all in.
Free to play? I'll pass
I think the perfect choice of free to start is Maiden of Black Water (Wii U).
@ekreig Good point. I hope that's what they are. I can imagine an Animal Crossing Furniture Catalog app that sells exclusive furniture or something. But if it's something like that, you would probably be able to use Platinum Points instead of real $. Or perhaps both.
While free to play is the correct way to make money on the smartphone games market, I think this further confirms that these games will be simplified and targeted towards casuals, not core gamers.
And really, as much as I enjoy Animal Crossing, that's as casual of a game as you can get without leaving the core gamer market completely. If you simplify it even more and add micro transactions instead of asking for an up front payment I think the game would be ruined.
Hopefully they end up being free-to-start rather than free-to-play. Free-to-start games are often full games that start as demos, like Fatal Frame, and don't usually require putting in more and more money to play.
@Socar At this point, I'm not sure they CAN ignore the mobile market, as much as I agree with you. It seems that it's "do or die" now with getting involved with phone apps to get your name out there more prominently.
Remember how reluctant Nintendo was (at first) to go this route? Seems they have definitely changed their tune to stay viable. Woe to the gamers such as myself that would prefer they stick to consoles and portables.
Hearthstone is free to play and I've never paid for any cards etc so it can be done.
So paying $0.50 for every time you want to revive your character unit from permadeath in Fire Emblem? Yeah no way am I doing that nor bother with a free to play Fire Emblem especially on mobile.
Eh, I've got plenty of free to start games that I never spent a dime on, you just need some patience.
There's also some that you can spend like 7 to 15 dollars on but it ends up being like an actual game.
It just depends on the game and what your money unlocks, I'm confident that nintendo will handle it well.
Makes it considerably easier for me to consider them games I don't need to play.
@sillygostly Shuffle isn't done or even published by Nintendo to be fair here.
I am right now being mocked around in the FE mobile discussion forums of how this can really screw up the FE experience if done horribly.
Wait, they announced mobile Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem? I seem to be a bit behind; when did that happen?
I'd personally be happy to drop $5 on a mobile animal crossing and get a full experience. Shame, but I am still looking forward to playing it. As long as I don't have to pay more than what Minecraft Pocket Edition is going for I will consider it well spent.
And microtransaction-heaven! Hurrah!!
Sick to my stomach
Wow! This is the first time in 15 years that I have actually NOT wanted an Animal Crossing game! Good job, Nintendo. You killed the series with your greed. I think the good days of gaming are about to end. I refuse to do the pay for this, pay for that, crap. If I can't just buy a game and be done with the expense, then I don't want the game at all.
hahahaha yeeeaah no
I thought so. Now just annouce the small daily gold income and payment plan for more and use gold to lock everything with breakable weapons and you got more or less the wall of text I described on another post describing what I thought would be Mobile Fire Emblem. (Not rewriting the text wall).
I saw that thumbnail in an art section in NGamer four years ago
Now let's not judge the quality of these games by their monetisation. I mean, Miitomo doesn't exactly pressure you very much, does it?
Tom Nook is like: Dance minions, dance!
Tap here to load 85 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...