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Nintendo's First Mobile Games Will Be Free-To-Play With Microtransactions

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Nintendo has partnered with DeNA to bring classic Nintendo properties to the world of mobile gaming, with five titles scheduled to release before March 2017. While we don't know what four of those five titles will be, we do know how much they will cost.

The answer is nothing. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Nintendo's first five mobile games as part of the DeNA partnership will all be free-to-play with the ability for users to purchase in-game content via microtransactions. 

This isn't terribly surprising. The vast majority of mobile games are free-to-play titles with microtransactions. Since Nintendo's mobile games won't simply be ports of classic titles, but rather a means to generate interest for Nintendo's consoles and franchises, free-to-play makes perfect sense. 

The big question is how exactly these microtransactions will be implemented. If progress is too slow or routinely stopped by a paywall, Nintendo may find more than a few upset fans. However, if the company can strike a nice balance, the move to mobile is one that should prove to be an all around good business decision.

So far we only know details about one game coming from the Nintendo/DeNA partnership, and it's actually not a game at all. Miitomo will release in March of 2016 and is more messaging app than game, using Nintendo's iconic Mii characters. Once you've made a Mii on the app and added some friends, you'll be able to learn more about each other thanks to the app's automatic question system, which will let you answer simple questions before presenting those answers to your friends. Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima said that the questions in the game will be "friendly conversation starters" with the hope of deepening existing friendships. How microtransactions will factor into Miitomo is still unknown.

It's certainly not the Mario game everybody was expecting, but no doubt the iconic Italian plumber is on his way to mobile devices soon. Expect to hear more in the near future.

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