Nintendo to add paid subscriptions to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Nintendo is planning to add paid subscriptions to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp later this week. Under the new subscription model, players will be able to unlock different in-game functionalities with two different subscription plans.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will roll out a new paid subscription feature later this week. Photo: BagoGames via Flickr

According to reports by The Verge, Nintendo will be rolling out paid subscriptions on its two-year-old mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

Nintendo revealed the news via an in-game announcement. According to the announcement the new paid service, called ‘Pocket Camp Club’, will be released on Thursday 21 November.

What will players get if they pay for Pocket Camp Club?

Nintendo revealed that there will be two different subscription options for Pocket Camp Club members.

The two different plans will work as follows:

“In one plan, you’ll be able to appoint one lucky animal as your camp caretaker and get some extra help around the campsite.”

“In the other plan, you’ll be able to receive fortune cookies and store your furniture and clothing items in warehouses.”

We don’t know how much the Pocket Camp Club will cost yet, as Nintendo hasn’t actually officially announced the feature.

A screenshot of the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp message
A screenshot posted online by ResetEra user ZeoVGM shows the annoucement about the upcoming Pocket Camp Club feature. Photo: Nintendo/ResetEra/ZeoVGM

Has Nintendo developed a taste for paid subscriptions?

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been out for two years now, so why has Nintendo decided to add paid subscriptions all of a sudden? After all, paid subscriptions for mobile game features are hardly a new thing.

It probably has something to do with the performance of Mario Kart Tour, which was released at the end of September.

Nintendo released Mario Kart Tour with the ‘Gold Pass’ feature, a paid subscription option which allows players to access a number of additional functionalities.

The Mario Kart Tour Gold Pass subscription costs $4.99 per month, which angered a lot of Nintendo fans. But when you look at the game’s financial performance, Nintendo’s decision to add the subscription option makes a lot more sense.

In the first 24 hours after launch alone, Mario Kart Tour reportedly earned $1 million in revenue.

Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart Tour will be soon be adding a multiplayer mode this winter. Photo: Mario Kart Tour Facebook Page

Given this figure, it’s not hard to see why Nintendo has suddenly announced a similar subscription option for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

In a financial results briefing, Nintendo’s President, Shuntaro Furukawa, is quoted as saying:

“In addition to randomized items, we have created opportunities to generate revenue such as the Gold Pass subscription to meet the various needs of consumers, allowing them to enjoy the game. By including these mechanics and multiplayer functionality, we want to make it an attractive application that will be enjoyed by consumers in the long-term.”

Will Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp perform as well as Mario Kart Tour?

Considering Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is now two years old, it is very unlikely it will perform as well as Mario Kart Tour when it comes to earnings from paid subscriptions.

However, if Pocket Camp Club does meet Nintendo’s expectations, we may well see similar paid subscription mechanics being implemented in other already released Nintendo mobile games.

Unfortunately, whether you like it or not, that is the way games are headed, both on mobile and console/PC.

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