Nintendo has announced that it is to cease its Club Nintendo rewards service in July, with any unspent points being deleted entirely at the start of that month.
Launched in 2009 in North America and rapidly spreading to the company's other regions, the Club Nintendo programme saw scratch-off cards being included with console and game purchases. Each card contained a code which could be redeemed for 'Coins' at Club Nintendo; collected Coins could then be spent on everything from wallpapers and digital downloads of games to limited-edition physical collectables. It was a neat way for Nintendo to both reward its biggest fans while also attempting to make buying a new game instead of taking advantage of the second-hand market more tempting.
Sadly, Club Nintendo is no more. 'We’ve decided to wind-down the Club Nintendo program,
' the company explained in a statement
late yesterday. 'We are deeply thankful to our members for being a part of Club Nintendo for all of these years.
' The Club is to be replaced, the company added, by a 'new customer loyalty programme for our fans
,' details of which have yet to be released.
The impact of the Club Nintendo closure is immediate: any Nintendo products released from today onwards will no longer include a Club Nintendo scratch-off card in the packaging. Goods released prior to this date and still on shelves will, naturally, still include the cards but will need to be registered before the end of March 2015 - after which the cards become useless. Finally, any Coins remaining in users' balances on Club Nintendo on the 1st of July will be deleted without recompense.
'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 catalogue in February,
' Nintendo promised. '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.
Details of the free software offer are to be added to the company's support page
in the near future. Thus far, no date has been given for the launch of a replacement rewards scheme.