DeNA, the Company Making Mobile Games With Nintendo, Specializes in Free-to-Play

Mike Fahey, writing for Kotaku:

This is a company the owners of beloved properties trust with their brands. Why? Because DeNA knows how to make free-to-play work.

Look at those two screenshots. Every one of the games there is free-to-play. Every one of them features in-app purchases. Several of them have been among the top-grossing free-to-play games in the world.

Many of DeNA and Mobage’s most popular games rely on collectible card tactics to make revenue, building on rampant success of Rage of Bahamut. Players are given certain items for free — trading cards, Transformers, G.I. Joe squad members — and can play though a large portion of each game using them, but to be competitive they must purchase a chance at a rare item using real money.

Sure hope Nintendo has the wherewithal to pursue this in a balanced, non-scammy way.

Update: Steve Lubitz captures my skepticism:

“Nintendo games on mobile” is to “games with Nintendo IP on mobile” as Assistant Regional Manager is to Assistant to the Regional Manager.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015