Nintendo’s Free-To-Play Game Is Steel Diver

By Ishaan . June 18, 2013 . 1:00pm

As reported earlier in the day, Nintendo’s first free-to-play game, slated for release sometime before April 2014, will not be a Mario or Pokémon game, or any of Nintendo’s other successful money-makers. Instead, according to company president Satoru Iwata, it will be a product that consumers may not be feel comfortable putting money down for.


Now, we know what franchise Nintendo are looking at, as part of their free-to-play business. IGN reports that one of Nintendo’s free-to-play titles will be Steel Diver. Not the exact same game that was released alongside the Nintendo 3DS, but something similar in concept with a different design.


“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,” Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto shared in a talk with IGN. “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.”


Miyamoto added that Nintendo are focused on designing a balanced free-to-play model, which is along the lines of what Iwata said to analysts during E3 as well, and that they hope to have something to show “soon”. Miyamoto did not reveal what platform the game was being designed for.


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  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Im confused on what Miyamotor is thinking. What an awkward choice for a free to play game. If people didnt even want it or play it as a boxed product for release, why would they even get it if it was free. The concept was fairly dull and lacked any of the bells and whistles found in other simpler games utilizing metal based machinations of amphibious and aerial nature.

    Why not some time trial of sorts Mario character game for free to play or even some Nintendog care taker thing for it. Would be more compelling to non hardcores and mainstreamers.

    • thelmas

      “people would pay big money to play our game, let’s make it free”
      “people wouldn’t really pay to play this game, let’s try to make it free to play with some sort of microtransaction to get at least some money from it”
      now what is more like something a CEO of a company would say?

  • James Beatty

    Well…that’s…different I guess? A F2P submarine game (probably) on wii U sounds like it could be cool I guess. Probably a better choice than Pokemon or Mario since if the idea fails they won’t risk ruining a beloved property since nobody cares about steel diver

    • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

      Pokemon will never be free 2 play unless it the Stadium-Battle Revolution game

      • James Beatty

        The only way I can see Nintendo making a F2P pokemon game is if it used NFC figures, that would be pretty cool.

        • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

          Well Pokemon Rumble U does but it not free

  • Guilherme Matheus Silva

    Not sure if it’s a good choice ‘-‘ Maaaybe I’ll get his game.

  • KHSoraKeyBlade

    Well that was an anti-climax.

    • Guest


    • Enzo

      Most people already predicted this, though.

  • benhofb

    I got Steel Diver free with my 3DS back in December, but I thought it was an awful game. I tried sitting down and playing it, but I felt like it was more of a tech demo than anything else. Hopefully this newer version will be better.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    If they can improve on the game, then I think this will be interesting.

  • Vincent Michaud

    I’m not so sure Ishaan honestly. The quote leaves me perplexed: ”There is something we’re doing with the Steel Diver idea.” I interpret that Nintendo is working on enhancing the gameplay mechanics of Steel Driver but that does not confirm that they are working on another Steel Driver. Maybe its the wording or a translation error but anywho, I won’t take Miyamoto’s word until Iwata confirms. Last year Miyamoto said that we would not see a new 3DS hardware revision, next thing we know, 2 weeks down the line, Iwata announces the XL….

  • AJ

    I’ve been less than enthused about free to play games on cell phones (“click this button. Now click it again.” is not a game.), or FaceBook (again, “click this button, and then click some more” is not a game!!!). But those are not platforms designed for gaming. I’m curious what could happen with a F2P game made for a device meant for games, that people who actually play games own (again, people who own phones and FaceBook accounts seem to think “click a button a lot” is a game).

    • Sounds like you haven’t kept up with the industry for the past two years. F2P has become highly successful on PC, many times without sacrificing the gameplay in any way. As an example, Valve’s Team Fortress 2 is a completely free-to-play game, that happens to also make tons and tons of money for Valve .

      There are plenty of “F2P games made for a device meant for games”, and Nintendo are just about the only ones with cold feet to get into it. Valve makes a killing selling hats in Team Fortress 2. If Nintendo released a mediocre F2P pokemon card game and sold you the cards, they’d make bank like no one else in the industry.

      Steel Diver as an F2P game sounds pathetic to me, Nintendo shouldn’t be so conservative with the tremendous opportunities that only a brand name of their stature can get.

      • jsty3105

        There’s almost no chance that Nintendo will follow Valve’s route and start selling Mario & Luigi hats or other inconsequential items like that. Nintendo’s approach to DLC is very different from the current industry model and arguably, it’s the way forward as it provides a more tangible benefit without unbalancing the game

      • AJ

        I don’t do PC gaming, but I am aware of a lot of MMO’s going F2P as well……but those tend to fall more into the “pay to win” model, in varying degrees. I actually tried playing WoW for free, and it just felt like I was playing a demo. But again, I don’t really enjoy PC gaming, so that perhaps colored my experience.

        But consoles have only recently started getting into online functionality in any sort of meaningful way, and free to play games on consoles were a long time coming. (I do believe Japan has had a couple of experiments on the Vita and/or PSP along this line as well).

        (PC’s have also had freeware and shareware since the days when people would mail each other floppy disks.)

  • jsty3105

    Interesting and fairly low-risk choice for Ninty’s first free-to-play game. A games that’s out of the limelight that leaves them free to experiment and learn without the glare of the media spotlight and often unreasonable expectations that come with it.

    Solid business choice Nintendo.

  • DenjinJ

    Is this spun off from that GBA tech demo that was only shown at conventions or something?

  • James Enk

    i wasn’t expecting anything spectacular so i am not shocked by this i never played the one on the 3DS but to me it didn’t look interesting if they improve this one i will give it a chance

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