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Nintendo’s Fire Emblem & Animal Crossing Smartphone Games Will Also Use a Free-to-Play Model

Nintendo Smartphone Games Will Also Use a Free-to-Play Model

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Nintendo’s entry into mobile apps, Miitomo, already works on the free-to-play model, where the app itself costs no money, but optional in-app purchases may be made using real currency. Miitomo isn’t so much a game as it is a social networking app, though, so there was some uncertainty whether Nintendo’s forthcoming mobile games would follow that model.

While we still don’t know exactly how they’ll use that “freemium” tactic, Nintendo and mobile partner DeNa confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that their more straightforward, dedicated game apps will be free-to play. So far, the gaming giant has both a Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing mobile game on the way. Animal Crossing seems like an obvious fit for freemium with real money being used to purchase in-game items and decorations. Fire Emblem is a bit more difficult to imagine, but it could allow some kind of character customization through in-app purchases.

Of course, they could also follow in the footsteps of other mobile games with purchases for continues, power-ups, and the like, but that sounds like a dystopian Nintendo future I’m not quite ready to admit is possible. The day the Zelda secret chime is replaced with a cash register sound would be a sad day, indeed. Let’s hope that the in-app expenses stick to purely optional game elements.

(via Eurogamer, image via )

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.