Maybe it was the costs of running the program or maybe it was the complaints from underwhelmed members that did it, but for whatever the reason, today we're faced with the news that the Club Nintendo loyalty program is closing down worldwide. Nintendo's coins-for-surveys operation isn't just shutting down overnight, thankfully; there's a sunset plan to phase out the program and allow members to fill out the last of their product surveys and cash out their remaining coins. There will even be one last round of Platinum and Gold status gifts this year (although they will be downloadable games once again). Here's some of Nintendo of America's announcment (exact closing dates differ across regions):
All Coins will be deleted when Club Nintendo accounts are closed on July 1, 2015. As a result, 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 catalog in February. 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.
Nintendo also announced that a new loyalty program will rise from the ashes of Club Nintendo later this year. I have no idea what that will entail, but I bet it'll be cheaper for the company to run than the current iteration. For all the complaining I've done about the program, I will miss it. It had the opportunity to be so much more than it was and the reason I was so hard on it was that I wanted to see it rise to its full potential. Perhaps the next loyalty program will meet that challenge. I'm also thankful that Club Nintendo isn't just going to disappear overnight and that there's time to redeem those last lingering coins. In the meantime, spend those last coins. There is no tomorrow here and nothing more to save for, so we might as well go out with a free game bang. Games like Super Mario Bros. 2 for Wii U and Wario Land 2 for 3DS are available now with a promise of more downloadable titles on the way. I have 1,600 coins that I was saving for a rainy day. I suppose it's pouring now.