New Nintendo Membership Program Likely for Fall Launch
Earlier this year, Nintendo announced plans to cease its customer loyalty program, Club Nintendo. Just a few months ago, Nintendo then surprised the gaming world by announcing it would partner with DeNA to create mobile games based on familiar Nintendo licenses. Now, thanks to newly released DeNA financial reports, we know that Nintendo and DeNA will be presenting the next evolution of Nintendo's membership program across multiple platforms later this year.
We knew Nintendo was readying a new membership service, but we didn't know many details about how it would differ from Club Nintendo. When Nintendo president Satoru Iwata gave his financial presentation earlier this week, he hinted at the rough outline of what to expect from this new service. At its core, the new plan will use one user ID across multiple devices, and will work between Nintendo's consoles and handhelds and smart devices to offer players "various services including the ones based on their past purchases and gameplay records as well as services that will be an improved version of the current loyalty program."
While Iwata didn't offer any hints as to when to expect this new service to start, DeNA hinted that a launch window wasn't all that far off. In the company's recent filings, we can see that there's a targeted fall launch for the cross-platform connected service. Even though games based on Nintendo properties aren't planned to start arriving until 2016, it seems like both Nintendo and DeNA want to begin laying the groundwork by the end of 2015.
There were still no details on the evolution of the loyalty program, though DeNA's financial statements did again state that such a program would return in a new form eventually. Just what advantages this new Nintendo cross-platform service will bring to players remains to be seen, but at least Nintendo is attempting something new and different to help itself recover from the slight dip it took in recent years.