Nintendo snubs freemium, but bids for DLC future

Nintendo snubs freemium, but bids for DLC future

By Rob Crossley

August 1st 2011 at 11:39AM

Digital push for Wii U and 3DS, but free-to-play 'could damage premium value of games'

Nintendo wants to rapidly advance its digital games business across its new 3DS and Wii U platforms, the company’s chief executive has said.

Satoru Iwata told investors that both systems will be tailored for studios and publishers to easily add downloadable content to their games.

And Nintendo itself wants to bolster its own digital games offering, with Iwata projecting a 5-10 per cent increase in download revenues across its new platforms.

But the Nintendo president, who recently took a salary cut as shares in his company dived, insisted that free-to-play microtransactions would not be permitted on its systems.

Iwata told investors that free-to-play games, where customers typically pay nominal fees for in-game bonus items, could “damage the premium value Nintendo's content”.

Low quality paid download content would, while likely increasing short term profits, not allow Nintendo to build long term relationships with customers, Iwata was quoted as saying.

According to a translation of Iwata’s meeting with Investors, Nintendo wants to improve the presence and technology of its 3DS digital games store.

He said that the 3DS internet connection rate is far beyond that of the DS, though still not at one hundred per cent satisfaction levels.

The company’s acclaimed game design director, Shigeru Miyamoto, is said to be considering DLC for Nintendo’s own top franchises.