Earlier this year, Nintendo made waves by announcing that they would be entering the mobile market with the help of mobile developer DeNA. While Nintendo hasn’t said anything concrete about which of their big franchises will get the mobile treatment, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata discussed how the games would be sold. During the 75th Annual Nintendo Investor meeting, Iwata responded to an investor question about how the mobile games would be sold, Iwata started off by saying “we don’t want to use the free-to-play terminology that implies you can play free-of-charge”. He said rather “we use the term ‘free-to-start’, as this term more aptly describes that at the beginning you can start to play for free.”
Iwata explains that while he is currently looking over all the mobile pricing strategies (including allowing for premium games in that you pay one price and you’re done), he also doesn’t want to commit to one over the other saying “companies may be able to make a very profitable business in Japan by asking a small group of people to pay a large amount, but we do not think that the same approach would be embraced by people around the world.” He also that there won’t be many mobile games released “from this year to the next”, as they’ll each need special attention if they’re to flourish as a service.