In a move that’s the polar opposite of most other gaming companies operating in the mobile space, Nintendo’s decided to cut down on mobile microtransactions out of fear that players will spend too much money.
According to the latest report from the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has ordered its development partners to adjust the in-app purchases and drop rates on its mobile titles so that players won’t spend too much money on them. In a landscape where most developers seem bent on extracting every penny they can from consumers, Nintendo is reportedly worried about seeming “greedy.”
“Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” said one employee of CyberAgent, the developer of Nintendo’s most recent mobile game, Dragalia Lost. “If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”
These changes in microtransactions have forced CyberAgent to cut its earnings forecast for the first time in 17 years, thanks to the unexpectedly low revenue. After player complaints that the game’s odds of unlocking rare characters were too low, Nintendo stepped in to ask the company to raise the odds and hand out more in-game currency, preventing players from having to spend more real-life money.
When asked for comment about why Nintendo would voluntarily seek to make less money, one employee reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that the company is dedicated primarily to its consoles and console games. While Nintendo wants to have a presence in the mobile space and reach players on those platforms, it intends for the mobile games to always reflect positively back on the console games. The goal is for players to leave with a good impression of the core games and a desire to seek out more from the source, rather than the negative sense left by most of the microtransaction-fueled games on the market (many of which are plagued with frustratingly low drop rates and temptations to spend more money popping up with every tap). In other words, the Nintendo’s mobile games are advertising and accessible entry points for the console games, not money-generating schemes themselves.
Some of Nintendo’s partners aren’t too happy about these policies, as evidenced by CyberAgent’s reduced profits. However, it’s a move that’s decidedly pro-consumer, and one that will hopefully prove successful for Nintendo in the long run so that others follow suit.
Source: Wall Street Journal