This morning came word that Animal Crossing 3DS will not have paid downloadable content, as was previously rumored. But this has sparked some interesting debate over whether making the cute life simulation a free-to-play title is a perfect idea or completely wrong for the series.
An article by Pocket Gamer’s Mike Rose argues that making Animal Crossing free-to-play with paid DLC is a great idea, “as long as the main spectacle wasn’t messed around with too much and only vanity items cost real-world money.” Meanwhile, Kotaku Editor Brian Ashcraft seemed to breathe a sigh of relief in his write-up of the news today, quoting Nintendo President Satoru Iwata calling such monetary transactions in the game “unwholesome.”
I wholeheartedly agree with Iwata: Adding the lure of money to a game like Animal Crossing just seems to sully what is otherwise a world of good clean fun. I don’t want to feel like the game is subtly trying to squeeze money from me (and believe me, the pressure to do so will be there.) And if I visit a friend’s town, I want to say, “Wow! Where’d you find that awesome thing?” not, “Wow, how much did you pay for that awesome thing?”
Would making the game F2P make Nintendo more money? Possibly. Will it taint fan opinions and make them more wary of future titles with DLC? Absolutely. And honestly, the unwavering dedication of its fanbase is the strongest asset Nintendo has. It would be a shame to blow that to make a few extra bucks on flower pots and a cool umbrella.
Where do you stand on this issue? Would you like to see games like Animal Crossing available for free, or do you want to keep cash out of your game experience?