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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ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightThe problem I have with complaints of "sexualized men" is that men don't have to wear speedos to be sexualized. Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood/Doctor Who, was one sexy man, but he spent 99% of his time in a WW2 soldier's trenchcoat.02/26/2015 - 8:23pm
 

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