Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

June 16, 2011 -

If you ask the average consumer they will tell you that getting something for free is never a bad thing. But if you ask Nintendo president Satoru Iwata he'll tell you that free games are destroying the industry. Speaking to Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD, Iwata said that the free-to-play business model devalues software.

"Nintendo is a company which is trying to maintain the overall value of video games," Satoru Iwata told the Wall Street Journal. "We have no intention to provide a property to any other platforms, or making them available in a mode that does not require consumers to pay at all. If we were simply going to say OK, the only the way we could sell more products is by decreasing the price, then there wouldn't be a bright future and the entire industry will fold."

"I'm not interested in offering software for free of charge. That's because I myself am one of the game developers, who in the future wants to make efforts so the value of the software will be appreciated by the consumers," he continued.

"We can't simply compare the total revenue generated at the consequence of developing one thing. My point is about how we can keep the public's perception of the software. If we are going to destroy the value of the game software - once we have done so, it's a difficult job to recover from that situation."

Iwata also said that if his company was forced to adjust its approach to a free game model, Nintendo would simply create a "completely unique environment," rather than dealing with the problems and limitations of offering 'freemium' software.

Iwata closed by criticizing the growing culture of app gaming, voicing concerns over quality and value.

Source: WSJ by way of C&VG


Comments

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

"Nintendo is a company which is trying to maintain the overall value of video games" Sorry, I call bullsh*t on that. Nintendo releases iterations of the same tired franchises ad nauseum and now they're relying on gimmicks like 3D displays to sell consoles instead of content. "I'm not interested in offering software for free of charge. That's because I myself am one of the game developers, who in the future wants to make efforts so the value of the software will be appreciated by the consumers," Value and price are not the same, one can charge $100 for a game, it doesn't mean consumers are going value it more than lower priced or free offering. Though you can certainly make consumers feel ripped off if you charge a lot for a bad game. Conflating the two seems to be trademark of those with declining sales.

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

Once upon a time, in a land we all know, one could consider Nintendo's games "value for money", we could say that we were getting good value for the money we spent.

Fast-forward a few decades and, quite frankly, the words "Nintendo" and "value" hardly belong together. Match made in Heaven? More like match made from Hell.

20-30 years ago, games like Mario and Zelda were all the rage. Why? Because they were interesting, unique, original. Guess what, Nintendo? The next 20+ copies of Mario won't be interesting and they sure as hell won't be "original".

Free games don't "destroy the industry", crap games do. Games that have sequels that are exactly like the last do. Franchises that have been apart of history for the last 20 years, yet haven't actually grown at all do. Get the hint? (I am aware the chances of somebody from Nintendo reading this is low).

Many free games have much more value than games we pay over $50+ for. Price doesn't equate to value anymore, it might have once, but that is no longer the case. Free games are a decent medium for building portfolios, reputations, getting your name out there, and proving that value doesn't have to come in plastic that cost you $60 bucks.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

"Nintendo is a company which is trying to maintain the overall value of video games"

Ouch! Nearly blinded myself rolling my eyes like that. How can someone who's supposedly a business veteran not know the difference between price and value?

/ Off to play one of the many games I first played on free demos before purchase, or have downloaded legally for free while I wait for Nintendo's new stuff to drop to a reasonable price...

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

Because when I think "value", I think Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition.

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

There's a MAJOR MAJOR FALLACY in this guy's argument.

It's called "DooM"!!

 

Seriously, get the book, "Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture" by David Kushner. It tells all about how what was in it's day, the best selling video game of all time succeeded by giving the first third of the game away for FREE, even free to resell. That didn't devalue video games! Quite the opposite in fact! Seriously, these Japanese game companies are SO out of touch!

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

Heh, tell that to Valve.

Alien Swarm is free and it's gettign a crapton of free to plays later on.

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

I wonder if this is the same reason that the prices of movie tickets are constantly on the rise

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

Excitebike is free on the 3DS store right this very minute.  Oh, and Zelda: 4 Swords will be available for free later this year.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

to be fair, 3D Classics Excitebite is only free for a limited time, just like with the DSiWare title Photo Dojo, and the upcoming Four Swords game might not have a single-player mode like the past titles.

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

Sure, I'm just poking fun at Iwata.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Nintendo's Iwata Does Not Like Free Games

Nintendo gave their seal of approval to Ninjabread Man.  They are obviously not concerned about quality.

 

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