Last week, Nintendo announced that it would be dipping its toes into free-to-play territory with its first ever free-to-play title. While the company did not elaborate on what the title would be– beyond the fact that it would not be an established brand like Mario or Pokémon— we now know that the game in question will be a followup to one of its more obscure 3DS offerings.
Speaking to IGN, Nintendo executive and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that the company’s first free-to-play title will be Steel Diver. Rather than just reworking the existing game, however, Nintendo will be developing a new title around the free-to-play business model. According to Miyamoto,
“There is something we’re doing with the Steel Diver idea that I think is going to open things up with that game… It’s going to be very fun. We’re exploring from a perspective of where we can take that from a multiplayer standpoint– it’s going to have this four-player battle mode that I think is going to be very interesting.”
Beyond that, the company still has not decided just how it will implement the free-to-play model in the game, whether it be through a membership fee or the more typical microtransactions. Still, it appears the project is fairly along in development, as Miyamoto says the company hopes to show the title off “relatively soon.”
The original Steel Diver, which launched alongside the 3DS back in March 2011, was an interesting gameplay experiment that was ultimately held back by its price and lack of content. Adopting a free-to-play model, as well as a greater emphasis on multiplayer, may be just what the series needs to establish itself as one of Nintendo’s more interesting new properties.
What do you think of this news? Would you be interested in playing a free-to-play Steel Diver game? Let us know in the comments!