Stay on top of all our E3 2013 coverage here.
LOS ANGELES — Animal Crossing is the anti-free-to-play game. That’s the main argument in our positive review for Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS. Nintendo, however, is open to making its beloved casual series free with microtransactions.
“I think the main thing that we need to think about before even considering doing something like that is to determine what we’re going to make available from the beginning,” Animal Crossing lead designer Katsuya Eguchi told GamesBeat through a translator. “I think that’s key in deciding whether we do something like that. If I find a business model that works, however — that works for Nintendo and the end-user — then I can’t say that [free-to-play] is something we wouldn’t consider.”
Eguchi, who has never even heard of FarmVille, does enjoy some free-to-play games himself. He is currently playing Dots: A Game About Connecting on his iPhone. He has even purchased microtransactions in the mobile title.
The designer notes that the audience that loves Animal Crossing comprises many of the same people that love casual free-to-play titles on their phones.
“When you look at our main audience in Japan, they are definitely that audience that has smartphones,” said Eguchi. “[They are] women in their late teens and early 20s. They are certainly playing free-to-play games on their smartphone.”
If Eguchi and Nintendo do decide to make a free Animal Crossing with in-game purchases, it’s probably still a long way off. The company only just released Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS on Sunday.
GamesBeatGamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties