Nintendo of America Prez Says No to Microtransactions

By  |  Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm

nintendo_ds_liteWe recently gave Sony the what-for over its views on the iPhone (not a PSP competitor, a marketing exec said), and thanks to Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat, it’s Nintendo’s turn to squirm under similar questioning.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime also shows no worries. In short, he says Nintendo’s network of 18,000 DS developers can make better products than the “home-brewed” offerings at the App Store (Um, but what about all the pro developers praising the iPhone?). As with Sony’s argument that it makes hardcore games for serious gamers, I don’t think brushing off the competition is the best strategy, but I’ve already said my piece about that.

Instead, here’s something new: Asked about the iPhone’s recent support for microtransactions — the little extra gaming items you can buy on top of an initial purchase — Fils-Aime said Nintendo is against them. The quote, in part:

“Having talked to a lot of consumers in our market, the consumer wants to pay just once for their overall experience. I’ve heard complaints when consumers buy maps or extra levels. From a Nintendo perspective, we believe selling a game that is fair to the consumer and charging them once instead of multiple times is the best business model.”

As one of the developers in the PocketGamer story cited above says, the pressure is on to keep iPhone games cheap, so naturally there will be lots of in-game content for sale as devleopers try to bring in more revenue. The DS and PSP aren’t shackled by those initially low price points, and with Nintendo’s apparent commitment not to nickle-and-dime the consumer, I’m curious to see which business model will prove more successful.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Dan Taylor Says:

    Interesting to note that Fils-Aime only mentions additional content, i.e. maps and extra levels, but did not include options for character customization, an area traditionally high in microtransaction sales.

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