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Steel Diver is Nintendo's first free-to-play game


Nintendo is working on a free-to-play version of Steel Diver, the 3DS launch title that served as a submarine simulator, shoot-em-up and strategy game, Nintendo executive Shigeru Miyamoto told IGN at E3. Nintendo will develop a fresh game, with new design, for the free-to-play version. Miyamoto didn't announce any platforms, but said Steel Diver will be available at retail along with the digital launch.

"There is something we're doing with the Steel Diver idea that I think is going to open things up with that game," he said. "It's going to be very fun. 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."

Nintendo was unsure about how to handle the free-to-play model, whether with microtransactions or subscriptions, but the team's main focus was to retain entertainment value, Miyamoto said. The free-to-play Steel Diver should pop up direct from Nintendo "relatively soon."

Last year during E3, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata noted (again) that the company wasn't interested in developing free-to-play games, but reassured investors that the Wii U supported that structure.

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