Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto speaks against free-to-play microtransactions

Miyamoto wants Nintendo to deliver complete products.

Nintendo’s enigmatic developer Shigeru Miyamoto recently spoke out against microtransactions in free-to-play games during the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference (CEDEC). Bloomberg first reported on Miyamoto’s comments, with Miyamoto expressing the belief that should “deliver games at reasonable prices” before touching upon Nintendo’s “fixed-cost model.”

According to Miyamoto, “We’re lucky to have such a giant market, so our thinking is, if we can deliver games at reasonable prices to as many people as possible, we will see big profits.” In reference to experimental games like Super Mario Run on mobile, Miyamoto defended Nintendo’s approach to the fixed-cost model.

“I can’t say that our fixed-cost model has really been a success, but we’re going to continue pushing it forward until it becomes entrenched. That way, everyone can develop games in a comfortable environment. By focusing on bringing games to the widest range of people possible, we can continue boosting our mobile game business.”

Games like Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp won’t be Nintendo’s sole forays into the mobile gaming market. Currently, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa aims to expand Nintendo’s mobile game offering. It’s unclear whether or not these mobile games will contain microtransactions or not.

The potential for subscriptions to these games is likely though, with Miyamoto explaining: “It’s necessary for developers to learn to get along with subscription-style services. When seeking a partner for this, it’s important to find someone who understands the value of your software. Then customers will feel the value in your apps and software, and develop a habit of paying money for them.”

It’s commendable that Miyamoto is against the free-to-play model as a whole. It feels like a traditional stance that Nintendo has clung to over the years, even while other developers have given in and explored the free-to-play model. It’ll be interesting to see how Nintendo avoids the free-to-play model in future releases, particularly on mobile.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Miyamoto, or do you think the free-to-play model is harmless so long as the developer avoids the implementation of questionable practices such as loot boxes? Let us know down in the comments below!

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.


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