Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a "free-to-start" mobile game, according to Nintendo's description of its new title that soft-launched in Australia last week. The term itself shows up shortly after launching the game on its title screen and is the same phrase previously used by the Japanese entertainment company for describing Super Mario Run which released on iOS in late 2016 and hit Android devices early this year. While the "free-to-start" label meant Super Mario Run can be downloaded at no cost but the majority of its content is locked behind a $10 paywall which was later cut in half, it appears Nintendo is now using it in a more liberal manner as Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp doesn't seem to have any content put behind a hard paywall. As seen in the screenshot below showing the 0.9.0 beta version of the app tested by Android Headlines, Nintendo states the game's premium currency is purely "optional" to acquire.
It's unclear why the company opted to describe Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp as such a title seeing how neither Pokemon GO nor Fire Emblem Heroes were presented as "free-to-start" creations, with this particular phrase suggesting that the first Animal Crossing mobile game may actually receive some premium content post-release which players won't be able to access without paying real money for it. The current beta build of the app available for download from the Google Play Store Down Under doesn't feature any content that cannot be unlocked by playing the game and Leaf Tickets are only used for speeding up or completely eliminating some of the game's timers.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is set to be released on a global level in late November, as revealed by Nintendo's consolidated financial report for the third quarter of the calendar year. The same financials showed that the company's mobile division continues to do well and is growing at a rapid rate on an annual basis, with Nintendo suggesting it's keen on maintaining its support for Android and iOS in the future. The next mobile game from the Kyoto-based game developer is a spin-off of The Legend of Zelda franchise which is being created in collaboration with DeNA, the same Japanese entertainment giant which contributed to Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.