It is the middle of the month again- an important day if you use your Club Nintendo account due to it’s refreshing. This morning I check to see what games are available for download when I saw a gray banner which caught me off guard.
Indeed, my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Club Nintendo will be discontinued in 2015. According to the message on their main page, Nintendo will be replacing Club Nintendo with a new loyalty program most likely coming late 2015. Access to the page will end at the end of Club Nintendo’s elite year calendar on July 1. Three dates were given by Nintendo regarding site and account features.
- 1/20/2015: Products released after this date are not eligible for registration with Club Nintendo
- 3/31/2015: Last day to earn Coins, register products with Club Nintendo, and sign up for new Club Nintendo membership
- 6/30/2015: Last day to redeem Coins or access your account on the Club Nintendo website. Club Nintendo program shuts down at 11:59pm PT on 6/30/2015.
Coins and other account information will not be transferred to the new reward program. You will have to sign up for that on your own and start from scratch on currency. Any unused codes for Club Nintendo will be useless if not redeemed by the end of March. Speaking of unused, it’s now time to spend those hard earned coins before they disappear forever.
Upcoming Nintendo products from here on out, including the New Nintendo 3DS system, won’t give you any coins either. If you were to gain more coins at this point, it will be through downloads from the eShop and Nintendo Shop Channel. Other than that, best search your game cases for some of those codes you have lying around.
It should be noted that Nintendo isn’t going to stop adding to the Club Nintendo rewards catalog. Referring back to the message on Club Nintendo’s home page:
As a result, to give our members the best opportunity to use their Coins, we will add dozens of downloadable games and a limited quantity of exclusive reward items to the rewards catalog in February. In addition, as a small token of appreciation for your loyalty, all Club Nintendo members will receive a free download code for Flipnote Studio 3D in February 2015.
So you still have a reason to check back at Club Nintendo and you’ll have plenty of items to spend it on. In addition, Elite status awards aren’t being affected. The only alteration is the date of which Gold and Platinum members can redeem their coin-free reward. (Spoiler alert: They’re game downloads again). Elite awards are scheduled for April instead.
No details were given about the new rewards program at this time. All we know is that there will be a new one to replace Club Nintendo.
In summation, Club Nintendo is ending. This is definitely surprising since Nintendo was really pushing the program lately. You got exclusive content like Ganondorf in Hyrule Warriors and Mewtwo in Smash Bros. Do I think it’s the correct move? Perhaps.
Now, I love Club Nintendo. I remember 5 years ago when I was the only person I knew with a membership. Now a good amount of people are part of Club Nintendo. And it was a great concept to give back and implore buying their games. Now all 3 companies are doing something similar, but Nintendo was the first to take on the loyalty program concept in this manner.
It had problems, sure. Probably their biggest problem was how small their rewards catalog was after the last couple of years. Only 3 years ago did they start introducing game downloads that spiced up the selection. But physical rewards like shirts, figurines, exclusive items, and so on were so few. In advertisements that was what they advertised to bring you in. But when you got there, you were discouraged by the fact that there is virtually nothing.
That’s one of the reasons why I think it could be good to revamp the entire concept. Some may say completely deleting it is a little extreme, but I think by now CN has a general stigma that either encouraged or discouraged consumers.
If I was to guess what Nintendo is replacing CN by, I would assume they will go in the direction of PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games for Gold. Those programs proved successful and are involved in a way CN never was. If people are willing to pay $50 a month for PS Plus before it was mandatory to play online, I’m sure they can do something similar (and hopefully cost-effective).
Most importantly, it will be easier for gamers to utilize their memberships. Sony and Microsoft’s programs tie directly to their online stores, which makes it easier to manage and take advantage of.
If they continue with a website like Power-Up Rewards, hopefully they better utilize their catalog. That’s what draws people to reward programs in the first place. Throw discounts and contests if you have to. And try to make more physical rewards, because they’re the best.
That’s everything I have on this in a nutshell. I’ll definitely miss Club Nintendo, but hopefully they can use this opportunity to improve their loyalty program concept in the future. I will definitly keep you updated if news of the new program comes up.
What are you guys’ take on the situation? What were your thoughst on Club Nintendo? Do/did you have a membership and for how long? What do you think Nintendo should do in the future to improve? Sound off in the comments so I can hear your thoughts and
steal them for my own discuss them with you?
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!