‘Free to start’ action game Pokémon Rumble World arrives next week

Nintendo’s free-to-play push continues with new Pokémon title

Pikachu and his friends retain their position as the face of Nintendo’s free-to-play experiments, with the latest entry in the Pokémon Rumble series adopting the business model.

Announced during last night’s Nintendo Direct, the game continues the spin-off series’ toy-like visual style and gives players the chance to discover, battle and collect all 719 types of Pokémon.

Pokémon Rumble World introduces a new virtual currency, Poké Diamonds. While players will receive some at the beginning, more can be bought via in-game purchases or collected by meeting other 3DS owners via StreetPass.

The diamonds can be used to continue playing after a Pokémon’s HP has run out, as well as exchanged for Mii costumes and exchanged for hot air balloon rides.

Nintendo’s press releases stresses that “the game can be throughly played throughout at no cost”, and refers to the game as “free to start”, a term coined by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

This is the second free-to-play title Nintendo has released, following the launch of 3DS puzzle game Pokémon Shuffle. The game has already surpassed 2.5m downloads.

Earlier this year, Nintendo announced a long-in-the-making partnership with mobile games firm DeNA to bring its properties to smart devices. The first title is due by the end of the year.

Yesterday, DeNA revealed it hopes to make $25m per month through Nintendo’s mobile games.

Check out the Pokémon Rumble World trailer below:

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