Nintendo has confirmed that Wii U owners will be able to try Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water for free.
The game is to receive a digital-only release in the US. Furthermore, it will be ‘free-to-start' with the prologue and its first two chapters available to play for free. Those who want to continue beyond that point will have to pay the full $49.99 asking price to buy the rest of the game as a piece of DLC.
Note, however, that a demo had previously been confirmed, so it could be argued that this is merely a headline-grabbing way of hiding the fact that there are no plans for a physical release.
European gamers will also have the ‘free-to-start'/demo option, although they will also have the choice of opting for a limited edition physical release that includes an art book, poster and steel case.
The term ‘free-to-start' was first started by Nintendo's late boss Satoru Iwata.
I have come to realize that there is a degree of insincerity to consumers with this terminology,” he said in March. The thing that concerns me most is that, in the digital age, if we fail to make efforts to maintain the value of our content, there is the high possibility for the value to be greatly reduced as the history of the music industry has shown.
On the other hand, I have no intention to deny the free-to-start model. In fact, depending on how we approach this model, we may be able to overcome these problems.”