Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary Nintendo designer behind the likes of Mario and Zelda, has called on the video game industry to bring an end to its current “free-to-play” model. At the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference in Japan, Miyamoto urged developers and publishers to change tack on the format.
The “free-to-play” model has become a huge talking point among players and developers. According to Bloomberg, Miyamoto wants to see a fresh approach brought to the table in an effort to make games more readily available to players everywhere. He then expressed his distaste for the practice.
“We’re lucky to have such a giant market,” according to Miyamoto, “so our thinking is, if we can deliver games at reasonable prices to as many people as possible, we will see big profits.”
Nintendo has been a big proponent of buying in-game currencies on its smartphone titles, such as Super Mario Run. Despite following this method, the 65-year-old Miyamoto feels that the Japanese giant must consider altering its current business plan to remain at the top of its game.
“I can’t say that our fixed-cost model has really been a success,,” he said, “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.”
So what new model does Miyamoto think the industry should seek out? He said he feels that taking a page out of the music and TV industry’s handbook with subscription services may be the best way to go, even if Microsoft and Sony are already pedaling these such as Game Pass and PlayStation Now already.
“It’s necessary for developers to learn to get along with subscription-style services,” he stated. “When seeking a partner for this, it’s important to find someone who understands the value of your software. Then customers will feel the value in your apps and software and develop a habit of paying money for them.”