Nintendo doesn’t want you to spend too much on its mobile games

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Nintendo iPhone
Nintendo wants some of your cash, but not all of it.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Nintendo

Nothing pleases Nintendo more than fans enjoying its game, but the Japanese company doesn’t want them spending too much on in-app purchases.

Nintendo has reportedly told development partners like DeNA that it wants them to limit micro-transactions to prevent its loyal fanbase from dumping too much of their hard-earned cash into free-to-play titles.

The increasingly popular free-to-play model has been a winner for Nintendo — and indeed its fans. Players can download its latest releases and enjoy them as much as they like without having to cough up a penny.

But there are plenty of things you can spend your cash on if you want to. Some purchases let you unlock items faster, while others might give you an edge in the game. And although they are entirely optional, they sell incredibly well.

Nintendo games make a fortune

Take, for instance, Dragalia Lost, an action RPG and Nintendo’s latest mobile release. Despite being free, the game raked in $16 million during its first two weeks of availability in just five markets.

Estimates show that Nintendo made $348 million from mobile games alone during 2018. Fire Emblem Heroes has been its most successful title so far, accounting for well over $200 million of that sum.

Now Nintendo wants fans to slow down on their spending.

Don’t spent too much, Nintendo says

The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo is now adopting a more consumer-friendly approach to in-app purchases inside its mobile games. It is asking partners to limit the amount of items available to buy.

Not only does the company want to make its games more enjoyable for players, but it wants to preserve its friendly image. It certainly does not want to be seen as a money-grabber.

“Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game,” said an official for CyberAgent, the studio that worked with Nintendo on Dragalia Lost.

CyberAgent rather candidly admitted that if it had managed Dragalia Lost alone, “we would have made a lot more.” In other words, CyberAgent wouldn’t have been anywhere near as conservative with in-app purchases as Nintendo.