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Is Nintendo a natural free-to-play game company?

By on October 8, 2012
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I was reading the comments on Rob Fahey’s column on the challenges facing Sony with the Vita. This comment, by Felix Leyendecker, a senior 3D artist at Crytek, leapt out at me.

“Nintendos IPs are successful because their games are insanely fun, while many of Sony’s heavy hitters are heavily relying on presentation and narrative.”

Successful F2P games don’t rely on narrative. They don’t rely on spectacle and visuals to distract you from the fact that the core mechanics are weak or repetitive. They make games that are fun, compelling, quick-fixes (and, yes, some of them use pyschological tricks to keep you coming back long after the fun has dried up).

It made me think that while many AAA businesses, such as Sony, may not be natural fits for free-to-play, Nintendo, with its focus on accessible fun, is a shoe-in.

What do you think?

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com