During yesterday's Pokemon conference, which largely focused on the upcoming Let's Go games that tie in to Pokemon Go, Nintendo also announced and released a "free-to-start" Pokemon RPG called Pokemon Quest that seems to tie into the company's smartphone efforts, since iOS and Android versions of the game will be launching in June.
If you haven't already downloaded the game yet, Pokemon Quest is a light RPG that incorporates timer and energy mechanics typically found in hack-and-slash arena games that are popular on smartphones. Players can cook meals that attract new Pokemon using ingredients found in the wilds of Tumblecube Island, which take a handful of 'expeditions' in order to process. That timer can of course, be sped up by "PM" tickets which resemble premium currency found in other free-to-play games.
However, Nintendo still seems extremely cautious about monetizing its kid-friendly franchises. Instead of just dropping money in exchange for in-game currency, players can purchase a range of DLC packs priced at $4.99, $9.99, and $17.99, which provide both some tickets to speed up gameplay and unique game assets that increase the amount of rewards received in-game.
It's a less aggressive monetization scheme compared to similar mobile RPGs (which may sometimes invite players to spend up to $100), but Nintendo & Game Freak appear to be counting on the popularity of Pokemon & the game's unique, cube-themed art style to build a paying fanbase.
It'll be worth observing how this game performs on the iOS and Android stores in late June, and developers working on mobile free-to-play games may now be more interested in the possibility of further exploring a Switch version of their game.