Nintendo asking partner iPhone developers to avoid gouging gamers on in-app purchases

Posted:
in iPhone
In what would be an unusual step for most companies, Nintendo is reportedly telling its partner mobile developers to avoid squeezing players too hard for in-app purchases -- even though both parties would stand to benefit from the revenue.

Super Mario Run


The company is mostly interested in drawing attention to popular console franchises like Mario and "Fire Emblem," and doesn't want to damage its brand by milking players the way many mobile apps do, sources told the Wall Street Journal. A number of so-called "free-to-play" games can in truth be very expensive, forcing players to spend real money on in-game currency or speeding up essential actions if they want to make progress. More innocuous examples limit transactions to cosmetic items.

"Dragalia Lost" developer CyberAgent recently cut its fiscal year earnings forecast for the first time in 17 years, in part blaming per-player revenue from that game. Officials from the company told the Journal that Nintendo specifically asked it to improve the chances of winning access to rare characters.

"Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game," one official said. "If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more."

A Nintendo spokesman simply confirmed that the company discusses "various things, not just limited to payments, to deliver high-quality fun to consumers."

In February another Nintendo partner, "Super Mario Run" and "Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp" developer DeNA, said that most of its smartphone titles are struggling except for "Megido 72" -- an independent production.

Nintendo is treading a fine line with mobile games, its next project being "Dr. Mario World." It has had to balance the added revenue with the potential for diverting people from its profitable console business.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,015member
    Pigs do fly...
  • Reply 2 of 11
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,376unconfirmed, member
    Nintendo has good intentions but this is the iPhone business model.

    Nintendo has a weird way of being innovative but moving slow. Nintendo had a monopoly on indie developers until iPhone came out. They just sat back and watched Apple take all these developers under their wing. Strange because Nintendo is a gaming company while Apple seems to not give a sh**. Point is, a successful mobile platform from Nintendo would have been their ideal, instead they have deal with this freeware model that Apple brought to market.

    Before anyone mentions the Switch being successful tell me how it's selling 200 million a year and has iOS-level indie developer support.
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 3 of 11
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 362member
    Nintendo has good intentions but this is the iPhone business model.
    It started out as paid apps. I don't think Apple brought in-app purchases to the market, but they certainly enabled and benefited from it.

    Nintendo is arguing against gouging - that's a bit vague on the face of things. Almost on the level of "I know it when I see it"  :D

    Edit: Aside

    I've got some free to play games on my phone - you can really see the pay to win aspects on some - the competitions that encourage spending. It's fun to figure out strategies to win and generate a lot of in game resources without paying.
    edited March 7
  • Reply 4 of 11
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,148member
    Nintendo has good intentions but this is the iPhone business model.

    Nintendo has a weird way of being innovative but moving slow. Nintendo had a monopoly on indie developers until iPhone came out. They just sat back and watched Apple take all these developers under their wing. Strange because Nintendo is a gaming company while Apple seems to not give a sh**. Point is, a successful mobile platform from Nintendo would have been their ideal, instead they have deal with this freeware model that Apple brought to market.

    Before anyone mentions the Switch being successful tell me how it's selling 200 million a year and has iOS-level indie developer support.
    The ios platform did not become casual gaming heaven out of nowhere. Apple has core technologies like Metal which takes advantage of the A Series processors. Plus the controllers in iOS & tvOS have become quite solid .It takes time for good games to come. For now even Fortnite is an iPad Pro seller with a Steelseries Nimbus controller.
    lolliver
  • Reply 5 of 11
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,376unconfirmed, member
    Nintendo has good intentions but this is the iPhone business model.

    Nintendo has a weird way of being innovative but moving slow. Nintendo had a monopoly on indie developers until iPhone came out. They just sat back and watched Apple take all these developers under their wing. Strange because Nintendo is a gaming company while Apple seems to not give a sh**. Point is, a successful mobile platform from Nintendo would have been their ideal, instead they have deal with this freeware model that Apple brought to market.

    Before anyone mentions the Switch being successful tell me how it's selling 200 million a year and has iOS-level indie developer support.
    The ios platform did not become casual gaming heaven out of nowhere. Apple has core technologies like Metal which takes advantage of the A Series processors. Plus the controllers in iOS & tvOS have become quite solid .It takes time for good games to come. For now even Fortnite is an iPad Pro seller with a Steelseries Nimbus controller.
    But those things came out much later. The casual market was sunk into iOS long before Metal.

    mknelson said:
    Nintendo has good intentions but this is the iPhone business model.
    It started out as paid apps. I don't think Apple brought in-app purchases to the market, but they certainly enabled and benefited from it.

    Nintendo is arguing against gouging - that's a bit vague on the face of things. Almost on the level of "I know it when I see it"  :D

    Edit: Aside

    I've got some free to play games on my phone - you can really see the pay to win aspects on some - the competitions that encourage spending. It's fun to figure out strategies to win and generate a lot of in game resources without paying.

    Depends on what games you're playing. If you're playing one of those stupid games that makes you wait 72 hours for an upgrade, you never win. There's people who have spent thousands on Clash of Clans and are still below other players.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 317member
    Well maybe Nintendo should lead by example. Many of the tittles they have on the App Store are solid and I wouldn't mind paying a premium for them, $20-$30. The real problem is that Nintendo requires a constant internet connection to be able to play. Meaning I can't play while I commute and they are alienating the iPod Touch user market (kids).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 454member
    gutengel said:
    Well maybe Nintendo should lead by example. Many of the tittles they have on the App Store are solid and I wouldn't mind paying a premium for them, $20-$30. The real problem is that Nintendo requires a constant internet connection to be able to play. Meaning I can't play while I commute and they are alienating the iPod Touch user market (kids).
    Not sure what the constant internet connection had to do with pricing but ok. And for kids, they have $60 2DS (which are like unbreakable wedges) along with $20 games. Fun, deep, console worthy games. Not some nonsense Drakamon knock-off stuff or something littered with IAP
    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,079member
    AppleExposed said:
    Depends on what games you're playing. If you're playing one of those stupid games that makes you wait 72 hours for an upgrade, you never win. There's people who have spent thousands on Clash of Clans and are still below other players.
    Why do you think you have to be the top player to “win”? I’ve been playing Star Wars Commander for a couple years now, sank maybe $30-40 in it early on to get a kickstart because I enjoyed it, but literally did not have to. Upgrades on things at this point in the game take up to a week and a half and you literally do not have to pay anything, and I win conflicts all the time. I could’ve paid zero dollars and played as long as I have. Fortnite made how much only selling cosmetic upgrades? It’s a solid business model. 
  • Reply 9 of 11
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,376unconfirmed, member
    AppleExposed said:
    Depends on what games you're playing. If you're playing one of those stupid games that makes you wait 72 hours for an upgrade, you never win. There's people who have spent thousands on Clash of Clans and are still below other players.
    Why do you think you have to be the top player to “win”? I’ve been playing Star Wars Commander for a couple years now, sank maybe $30-40 in it early on to get a kickstart because I enjoyed it, but literally did not have to. Upgrades on things at this point in the game take up to a week and a half and you literally do not have to pay anything, and I win conflicts all the time. I could’ve paid zero dollars and played as long as I have. Fortnite made how much only selling cosmetic upgrades? It’s a solid business model. 

    You never "win". It's a never ending loop like chasing your tail.

    I've never played that Star Wars game but games like Clash of Clans have no end. Even when you collect everything the game has to offer they just add more things to collect. Even when you max out your stats, they add a higher rank. Keep in mind you could blow $1,000 before getting to the highest rank or collecting everything.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,079member
    AppleExposed said:
    Depends on what games you're playing. If you're playing one of those stupid games that makes you wait 72 hours for an upgrade, you never win. There's people who have spent thousands on Clash of Clans and are still below other players.
    Why do you think you have to be the top player to “win”? I’ve been playing Star Wars Commander for a couple years now, sank maybe $30-40 in it early on to get a kickstart because I enjoyed it, but literally did not have to. Upgrades on things at this point in the game take up to a week and a half and you literally do not have to pay anything, and I win conflicts all the time. I could’ve paid zero dollars and played as long as I have. Fortnite made how much only selling cosmetic upgrades? It’s a solid business model. 

    You never "win". It's a never ending loop like chasing your tail.

    I've never played that Star Wars game but games like Clash of Clans have no end. Even when you collect everything the game has to offer they just add more things to collect. Even when you max out your stats, they add a higher rank. Keep in mind you could blow $1,000 before getting to the highest rank or collecting everything.
    Why do you think a game (especially an online/multiplayer game) requires an ending?
  • Reply 11 of 11
    AppleExposed said:
    Depends on what games you're playing. If you're playing one of those stupid games that makes you wait 72 hours for an upgrade, you never win. There's people who have spent thousands on Clash of Clans and are still below other players.
    Why do you think you have to be the top player to “win”? I’ve been playing Star Wars Commander for a couple years now, sank maybe $30-40 in it early on to get a kickstart because I enjoyed it, but literally did not have to. Upgrades on things at this point in the game take up to a week and a half and you literally do not have to pay anything, and I win conflicts all the time. I could’ve paid zero dollars and played as long as I have. Fortnite made how much only selling cosmetic upgrades? It’s a solid business model. 


    I'm in the same boat. I started playing SimCity BuildIt a couple of years ago. I used IAP a couple of times initially, when EA Games chose to donate 50% of that for fighting AIDS or some other charity.

    After that, I've never made an IAP again and I really get a lot of pleasure from the game. I've reached pretty high, as far as achievements are concerned.

    It's certainly not for anyone looking for a rush. It's just a nice game for lethargic people like me.


    The only IAPs I do are for the Star Wars Pinball boards in Zen Pinball.

    watto_cobra
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