In a Q&A session with investors on Friday, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said that his company is preparing to offer developers support for paid downloadable content on the 3DS by the end of the year, and eventually on the Wii U.
The executive notes that while it will allow third-party studios to take advantage of this microtransaction system, Nintendo is wary of using this feature itself. Andriasang translated the Q&A transcript and explained:
"Iwata said that while pursuing paid download content opportunities would likely increase short term profits, it would not allow them to build a long-term relationship with customers. … Nintendo feels that it should not have this type of paid charge system for its own content."
He went on to comment that free-to-play games would “damage the premium value Nintendo’s content”, and pointed that the rate of 3DS owners connecting online is far greater than that of DS or DSi users.
Iwata added that bringing more gamers to the eShop and acclimating them to buying games/content there are major points in Nintendo’s roadmap for the next three years.
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