Hey everyone, and welcome to another Controller Crusade Roundtable discussion. Every Friday our team of writers tackle a different gaming topic or question, and the topic this week is the Club Nintendo shut down. The Club Nintendo rewards program has been something special over the last 6 years, and many are sad to see it go. Let’s hear the Controller Crusade staff’s thoughts on the departure of Club Nintendo, and the potential of a new rewards program.
Just the day before Nintendo announced that they are discontinuing Club Nintendo, I was signed in to Club Nintendo to check the status of one of my rewards and I could not help but notice the sparse selection of rewards that were available. It spawned this dreadful feeling in me that Nintendo is done with Club Nintendo. To my complete astonishment, this news hit the next day. My initial impression was sadness. I have grown accustomed to the ritual of registering my Club Nintendo codes and watching that golden bar fill up. I have been able to collect quite a few cool trinkets from Club Nintendo over the years and their annual elite status rewards were always something to look forward to. Now Club Nintendo was never a perfect rewards system but it was a very unique way in which Nintendo showed it’s appreciation for their loyal fans (while collecting some survey information). Now of course, the new system that Nintendo is planning to replace Club Nintendo may be a drastic improvement over it’s predecessor so there is a sense of excitement in what is yet to come. However, I can not help but think that Nintendo could have provided a smoother transition between the two systems. It probably does not help that this decision was announced days after Nintendo’s very controversial Direct in North America. Unfortunately, the combination of Nintendo’s decisions with the New 3DS XL in North America and this announcement leaves a poor taste for Nintendo fans. Here is hoping that the new loyalty program is so awesome that we will quickly forget about all of this.
I’ve been anticipating this news for quite some time. Over the last little while you probably have noticed the amount of physical rewards from Club Nintendo shrinking, and probably had the same assumption I did. I can’t really complain, I have received a ton of awesome posters, shirts, and game cases with my reward points. The fact that Nintendo has done this for so long is impressive, especially when you factor in how much it costs to ship worldwide at no cost to the Club Nintendo member. None of the other console providers are doing reward programs like this, and that is what makes Nintendo so special. Sure its coming to an end, but who knows what the next rewards program will have in store. Nintendo is also being very reasonable with the transition to the new program, giving Club Nintendo members plenty of time to use the points they have accumulated. So before you pass judgement on Nintendo for their decision, remember that this is a company that consistently releases quality games and products, and they owe us absolutely nothing. So thank you Nintendo, and I can’t wait to hear more about the future rewards program.
In all honesty I can’t personally see what the big deal really is. From game companies nickel and diming us with micro-transactions and monthly fees, releasing highly anticipated titles in incomplete states, discrimination towards feminine gamers, to releasing next generation consoles without backwards compatibility; is this really the straw that broke the camel’s back?
Admittedly, I always had a personal admiration for Nintendo, as I find they are the least conniving and malicious between Sony and Microsoft. They seem to at least apparently try to put forth some effort to reciprocate goodwill to their devoted legions of fans, and reassure them that it’s not just some corporate entity out take their money (even though that’s what it is). But hey! At least Nintendo gives them the respect to sugar-coat it. Which leads to my point that with the closing of Club Nintendo something just as good, if not better will take it’s place. With all the shaky times Nintendo has experienced through-out it’s career as a big name video game company, it has depended on such devoted fans to keep it going strong. No way they would suddenly forget that and foolishly alienate them!
I’ve been a big fan of Club Nintendo for years (I’ve been a platinum-level member every single year and was registering games before we even credit for them) but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see this coming. The reward selection, once a wide array of exclusive items, slowly dwindled down to a few posters and face cloths that never got restocked. Even the last platinum reward fell short of past years, going from a cool physical goodie to a digital game download. It’s disappointing, but this was clearly a long time coming.
My initial reaction to the announcement was disappointment, but after reading that they were replacing the program my disappointment actually turned into excitement. A few Nintendo Directs ago, Satoru Iwata mentioned that the company was looking into better ways to reward loyal, longtime fans. Since then I was hoping that Club Nintendo would either get a major overhaul or be relaunched completely – and it looks like it’s finally happening. So I’m excited to see what the future holds. I buy a lot of Nintendo games so I’m hoping I can get some rewards cooler than some game card cases, and it’s pretty cool that Nintendo gave us this notice well in advance so that we can still burn through the rest of our coins. Hell, I’ve still got close to 2000 coins worth of games I haven’t registered yet, so at least I’ll be able to get some games out of it.
That’s a wrap on this edition of Controller Crusade Roundtable. As always we love when our readers join in on the discussion, so let us know what you think of the Club Nintendo shutdown, and what cool rewards you have received. Also if you have any questions that you would like our team to answer for next week, let us know! Check back next week, and each and every Friday for more Controller Crusade Roundtable Discussions.