The ability to offer software in a digital format has given us greater flexibility in terms of how we offer our products to consumers and how to monetize them.
However, we are not planning to offer, for example, Mario or Pokémon games in a free-to-play format. With games like Mario and Pokémon, we already have a sufficient degree of trust with our consumers who are willing to pay a certain sum of money to purchase our products as packaged software. On the other hand, what are we to do when we want to offer a completely new product whose value consumers are yet to understand? Consumers are not sure if it is worth outlaying a certain sum of money for such a product. In such circumstances, our current platforms (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U), which give us various monetization options that would not have been possible on past Nintendo platforms, enable us to make propositions in a free-to-play format.
Nintendo has so far focused on our packaged software business, but we are planning to take on the challenge of releasing free-to-play games too. I believe we will be able to make concrete propositions within this fiscal year.
On the other hand, free-to-play games, if unbalanced, could result in some consumers paying extremely large amounts of money, and we can certainly not expect to build a good relationship with our consumers in this fashion. In order to have a favorable long-term relationship, we would like to offer free-to-play games that are balanced and reasonable. - Satoru Iwata