Nintendo Launches Free-to-Play "Steel Diver" Game
Steel Diver was originally a game developed for the Nintendo 3DS, and reviews on it appear to be somewhat mixed. It’s a submarine adventure wherein you float around and defend the world’s nations from a rogue invading threat. In other words, it’s not a marquee title in the same vein as Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, and so on.
Although it may seem like a weak effort to test out a new pricing model and content delivery paradigm with a second-tier title, IGN quoted Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto as saying, “"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.” He said that, for example, the game will have a four-player battle mode.
The free-to-play concept for Nintendo may extend to microtransactions or perhaps a membership structure. What the company ends up doing remains to be seen, but Steel Diver will be the guinea pig.