Mobile gaming has been increasingly improving in recent years, thanks to the newer processors that are capable of displaying greater realistic graphics. The gameplay has also changed as smartphones don't usually integrate physical buttons, so developers take advantage of the available sensors. Nintendo, despite having some portable handhelds for their games, made the decision to create games for other mobile platforms a while ago. A few weeks ago though, details became known that the company's first mobile game would be called Miitomo and it will be free to play. While the gameplay wasn't detailed, users will be able to create their Mii avatars and interact with others.
Today, the company announced their earnings and they shared a few details about their upcoming games. They said that all of their games that are currently in development will be free to download with in-app-purchases. This shouldn't be too surprising as they partnered with the Japanese mobile game developer DeNA, which has a similar scheme for their games. The information got a little confusing when they announced that their first game would be free to play, possibly suggesting that their following games would not be free. Currently, Nintendo and DeNA will be working on 5 more games to be released along the next year and until the Spring of 2017, but they didn't specify which of them are currently in development.
Nintendo will keep focusing on bringing certain famous franchises to the mobile platforms, so this free scheme would be new to the company. When the partnership with DeNA was announced, Satoru Iwata who was president of the company back then, stated that he was uncomfortable with the terms used to call apps with additional paid content, so he called them "free-to-start". While this might sound like he was referring to demos, it is unclear which content will be available to purchase, they could be additional levels or items to make the available levels a little easier. Still, a scheme where users would pay to download certain games is not out of the question, but it seems that for now, they will stick to this new scheme. Miitomo will be launched on March 2016, and the company president Tatsumi Kimishima was very careful not to call it a game, calling it a "communication-based app", instead.