Nintendo introduces 2 paid subscriptions for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

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Nintendo introduces 2 paid subscriptions for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Nintendo has changed its approach to mobile games.
Image: Nintendo

Nintendo has revealed details of a pair of paid subscriptions coming to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. We wrote about news of the subscriptions earlier this week, but no pricing information was available at the time.

The new “Pocket Camp Club” subscriptions follow shortly after Nintendo introduced a similar subscription for Mario Kart Tour, with a “Gold Pass” priced at $4.99 per month.

If $5 — the price of an Apple Arcade subscription — seems a bit steep for a Mario Kart Gold Pass, the new Animal Crossing subscription isn’t going to win you over.

The pricier of the two subs charges $7.99 per month for a “Cookie & Depot” plan. This gives players five fortune cookies from a members-only Cookie Shop offering an assortment of items. You also get shorter crafting times, exclusive journal, the ability to store up to 5,000 objects in a warehouse, and more.

For those wanting something cheaper (or, perhaps, another subscription on top of this) you could get the “Happy Helper Plan” subscription for $2.99 per month. This gives you your own personal assistant at the campsite by letting you designate an animal as camp caretaker. When you’re away from the campsite, the caretaker will fulfill animal requests. It will also collect event items for scavenger hunts, fishing parties, garden events, and more. It will also feature the shorter crafting times and journal.

Paid subscriptions: Not just Animal Crossing

Nintendo initially employed a premium strategy for its mobile games. Super Mario Run offered users a free demo, but then opted for a $9.99 single download that unlocked the whole game. However, Nintendo changed its strategy after declaring the strategy had not reached “an acceptable profit point.”

Since then, Nintendo has started using in-app purchases more. As someone who isn’t a fan of in-app purchases and would rather pay a one-off price for games, it’s something of a disappointment that Nintendo has come to rely on them.

Still, that’s increasingly how big mobile games work in 2019. Hopefully Apple Arcade can succeed to show that this model can work instead. I’d much rather pay Nintendo a subscription if it meant being able to access a library of classic Nintendo titles, optimized for mobile.