Nintendo Launches Free-to-Play "Steel Diver" Game

Nintendo is experimenting with new pricing models for its console games, an effort aimed particularly at digital sales and packaging downloadable content with boxed games. According to IGN, the company is bringing its experiment to the real world via a free-to-play game. The title? Steel Diver.

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.

Steel Diver

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.

Steel Diver

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.