news\ Jan 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Nintendo: Mario will never be free to play, but other games might

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Nintendo might embrace the free-to-play business model going forward, but you'll never see it applied to its more popular franchises like Mario and Pokémon.

"I have no intention of denying charged games or the free-to-play model," company president Satoru Iwata told Japanese newspaper Nikkei (translated by NeoGAF). "If we were to talk about if Nintendo were to do that, however, I do not [have] much inclination to do that with Nintendo's established well-known products, where people trust their interesting-ness."

While New Super Mario Bros. 2 and games like Fire Emblem: Awakening might mark Nintendo's entry into downloadable content, those kinds of post-game purchases are different from the microtransactions that you'd find in free-to-play games.

"We will not have a proverbial door to full enjoyment that can only be unlocked via payment," he said. "However, this is separate from, say, having something where because there are people who want more stages to play in Mario games, we will create new courses for those people and charge for them."

If the free-to-play model looked suitable for a new game with "no established base," Nintendo might be open to trying it or "cheap-to-play," he said.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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