It has a reputation for resisting technology and business developments, but Nintendo has finally conceded to the logic of the free-to-play space.
It marks a notable change of tact from president Satoru Iwata, who in 2011 pledged that Nintendo would never venture into the F2P market for fear of further eroding the perceived value of games.
"We [as an industry] can now do distribution by digital means as well as micro-transactions, and the ways to obtain money through supporting entertainment have increased," he told Nikkei, as reported by Gamasutra.
"It’s a change in our landscape; competing in game-quality, and working on how money is obtained, I think both are things that require creativity. Therefore, I have no intention of denying the free-to-play model."
Don’t get your hopes up for a F2P Mario or Zelda, however – Nintendo looks set on keeping its successful existing IP safely tucked away from such developments.
"If we were to talk about if Nintendo were to do that, however, I am not so much inclined to do that with Nintendo’s established well-known products, where people trust their interesting-ness. For example, for people who are used to Mario games costing 4,800 or 5,800, we will not have a proverbial door to full enjoyment that can only be unlocked via payment."