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.