The free-to-play model is an extremely popular way of how developers and publishers can get gamers hooked onto a game, and continuously make money from them via in-app purchases for cosmetics, boosts, and so on. Naturally there are some who feel that this is not right, and one of the model’s opponents is none other than Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto.

Speaking at the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference in Yokohama, Japan, Miyamoto criticized the model and called upon fellow developers to start delivering more games at fixed prices and to not overcharge players, which he believes will create a more sustainable business in the long run.

That being said, Miyamoto, the game designer who created Super Mario and Donkey Kong, admitted that Nintendo’s attempts at the fixed cost model wasn’t a complete success. “I can’t say that our fixed-cost model has really been a success. But we’re going to continue pushing it forward until it becomes entrenched. That way everyone can develop games in a comfortable environment. By focusing on bringing games to the widest range of people possible, we can continue boosting our mobile game business.”

He also notes that subscription-style services could also be another sustainable model, where he feels that customers will be happy to pay a subscription to games that they feel are of good quality. In fact there are some companies who are sort of adopting that route. For example Blizzard’s World of Warcraft MMORPG has now made past expansions all free to play (the latest expansion still needs to be bought), and only requires that players be subscribed to it, thus reducing the barrier to entry.

Of course given how lucrative it is when it comes to earning money purely from in-app purchases, it’s hard to imagine that companies will be giving up the free-to-play model anytime soon, at least not as long as there are players who are willing to pay.

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