Fans of Nintendo products over the past ten years or so will remember Club Nintendo. This program used to allow users to input codes that were bundled in with hardware and software to register them with Nintendo. Points were awarded for registration and then more were given out after a survey was taken. These points could then be used for physical items, such as posters, carrying cases, and playing cards. They could also be used to buy digital games. The Club Nintendo service ended in 2015 to make way for a new and improved program called My Nintendo.
Details are still a bit sketchy as to the intricacies of My Nintendo, but today in a presentation to investors, Mr. Kimishima explained a bit more about how the program will work. One of Nintendo’s goals with the new initiative is to make it easier to use and more rewarding for those that truly immerse themselves in the Nintendo ecosystem. One aspect of the new service is that it will know which games you’ve bought and played and will often give you recommended information and possibly discounts on add-ons. So, for example, say Splatoon were to come out with a paid map pack that would normally cost $14.99, My Nintendo could not only notify users about the new content, but also incentivize purchases by giving member-specific discounts. Another discount program apparently revolves around your birthday month, giving you special access to discounts as a gift.
There is a new point system with two different currencies: Platinum Points (“For Fun”) and Gold Points (“For Deals”). The way the system will start out is that you can earn the Platinum Points by using Nintendo’s smart device apps (Miitomo will be the first one on the market this March) and by checking out the eShop. These can be redeemed for digital content (like HOME screen wallpapers and possibly digital games). Gold Points are earned by purchasing digital software. These points can be used to purchase discounts for future purchases. Points will also be able to be earned by interacting with special communications from Nintendo, and although eventually games will give points just for playing them and meeting certain requirements, it appears that 3DS and Wii U software will not be a part of this. Expect Miitomo and future games on NX to incorporate this functionality. Keep in mind you can still earn points on 3DS and Wii U by logging into the eShop and also by purchasing digital goods.
The My Nintendo service will expand into other areas of the business as well. For example, Nintendo has previously stated that they would like to give points for seeing movies at theatres, going to theme parks, and eventually teaming up with select retailers to offer a point program at point of sale. In the planning stages is a management tool for your friend list and cloud data storage.
My Nintendo will launch in March in 39 different countries. The goal is to reach 100 million registered users as quickly as possible. Once the presentation is properly translated into English we may see a few clarifications, but for now this is what we can expect come next month. I’m super excited for the program to launch as it means more opportunities to earn free stuff and discounts on items I’d buy anyway. Rewards are always a great way to keep your customers coming back for more.