Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata was recently interviewed for Nikkei in Japan and has admitted that the company is beginning to take the free-to-play business model very seriously. He also mentioned that Nintendo is not planning to use established franchises with this model any time soon.
He talked about how digital distribution allows for micro-transactions and new ways to monetize on games. Nintendo is considering new IPs to be the test bed for moving toward free-to-play while still working with the traditional business model of selling games. Cheap-to-play is another model that they are considering as well.
After previously saying that Nintendo would no go the free-to-play route this is a huge turn around from Iwata and Nintendo. It will be interesting to see what ideas come out of them trying to make use of this business model and hopefully it will never be used with Pokemon games, Gotta Buy Em All.