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A Wild Guess: Divining the Last Club Nintendo Elite Awards

by Donald Theriault - March 24, 2015, 6:57 pm EDT
Total comments: 27

Trying to guess what Nintendo might do is like herding Meowth, but we’re not afraid to take a few shots in the dark.

With the last ever Club Nintendo Platinum rewards due to be revealed on April 1, the last minute rush for status is on, and the question on the lips of all is “Why aren’t they just giving us eShop credit?” But based on last year, the large group of game rewards currently for “sale” on Club Nintendo (Star Fox 64 3D, Wii Party U, freaking Super Mario 3D Land), and the fact that this is Club Nintendo’s swan song, it's very likely that Nintendo will want to go out with some heavy hitters.

Of course, Nintendo’s going to have some ulterior motives as well, aiming at franchises they want to keep in the public eye or things that flat-out bombed – sorry, Game and Wario, I’m looking at you. As such, there’s probably going to be a theme to what we get.

So with that in mind, this is my wild guess as to what to expect on April Fools’ Day. And remember, all predictions wrong or your $0 back.

Platinum Retail Games

Hyrule Warriors (Wii U, 2014)

Some would point out that Wind Waker HD, being an older game, would have more incentive to show up since it’s probably sold all it’s going to sell. However, Wind Waker HD doesn’t have downloadable content or serve as a way to clear stock of Link Amiibo at major retailers to make room for the inevitable Legend of Zelda series later this year.

The chief reason, though? Wind Waker is more of an evergreen title, while Hyrule Warriors is pretty much tapped out and giving it free to build the Warriors fanbase in North America is a risk Nintendo might be willing to take. Even noted musou haters have warned me that they bought Link Amiibo in anticipation of Hyrule Warriors being a Platinum reward.

Why It Won't Happen: The core game will be about six months old at this point, which would have to be a record for fastest time-to-Platinum reward.

Pikmin 3 (Wii U, 2013)

It wouldn’t be the first time Pikmin 3 has been given away on Club Nintendo, as it was one of the freebies for buying Mario Kart 8 at launch. It’s a great graphical showcase for the Wii U, and demand for the game has driven prices over the usual $60 price point on the secondary market.

And once you’ve played through the core game, there’s always the eternally fun mission mode with its… say it with me, “paid DLC.” Nintendo’s going to turn a profit on this game come hell or high water, so why not try and hook a few more whales in the process?

Why It Won't Happen: If they want to increase the visibility of Pikmin, the short movies are right there and you can give those away for way cheaper than a $60 game.

Mario Golf World Tour (3DS, 2014)

By now, the theme should be clearly obvious. Mario Golf being the first game to have an officially-called-by-Nintendo “season pass” also brought with it a lower price point ($30, $35 in Canada) so the theoretical cost of giving the game away is lower.

Giving the game away on Club Nintendo will also bring new suckers, er, players into the game’s online tournaments that are still going on to this day so they can get served hardcore by the people who are shooting 20 under par.

Why It Won't Happen: The only way it doesn’t is if Nintendo doesn’t want to give away a Mario game, but New Super Mario U being a Mario Kart 8 offer shoots that down.

Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS, 2013)

There’s a definite marketing angle to this one – Intelligent Systems has a new game out, so why not give out their last one as an advertising push? Plus, they put three Awakening characters into Smash Bros. so they want to keep this game top of mind.

The chief advantage for giving away Awakening – a 2+-year-old game at this point – comes from the fact that they just announced Fire Emblem if (excuse me: “the latest entry in the Fire Emblem series” - Ed) in the January Nintendo Direct, so they want to keep the franchise top of mind. And hey, Anna would be really pleased if she had some more customers if you know what I mean.

Why It Won't Happen: Even playing Casual+Normal, this is a 40-50 hour game, so it would kill sales of Xenoblade 3D and *potentially* the new Fire Emblem.

Platinum eShop Titles

NES Remix 2: The original was a Platinum reward last year, and is being sold for coins right now. There’s linking content if you have both, and as someone who owns everything in the list to this point this is the one I’m looking for. Why It Won't Happen: Would hurt sales of two games (NES Remix Pack and Ultimate NES Remix).

Pokemon Battle Trozei: Would be the first time a Pokemon game would be eligible to be a Platinum award, and it’s hard to find a major 3DS eShop release that isn’t already spoken for since they won't duplicate rewards. Why It Won't Happen: Pokemon Shuffle seems to have superseded it.

Punch-Out (2009): Hey, remember when Nintendo of America was putting Wii games on the Wii U as downloads? Punch-Out would be most likely to be the “premium retro title” since Earthbound’s for sale, and the other two Wii titles are a little too premium to give away. Why It Won't Happen: What if Nintendo elects to not do a major retro game?

Ambassador GBA game for 3DS: Europe recently added GBA games to the Stars Catalogue, and everyone flipped when the GBA games had erroneous 3DS text. We know the demand’s there, but would they take advantage of it for just one game? Why It Won't Happen: Nintendo may not want to give a reward that doesn’t work in full.

Games For The Golden

Wii U: Super Mario Bros 3 (NES), Kirby’s Dream Course (SNES), Wario Ware: Mega Microgame$ (GBA) and Donkey Kong Jr Math (comedy option)

3DS: Mole Mania (GB), Pokemon Puzzle Challenge (GBC), Mysterious Murasame Castle (NES), 3D Classics Kirby’s Adventure

Talkback

kokumakerMarch 24, 2015

The silver (platinum!) Mario amiibo would be freaking fantastic. Fingers crossed...

Quote:

Members who reach Elite Status will be able to choose a downloadable game from a wide selection of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U titles.

http://club2.nintendo.com/program-notice/

Evan_BMarch 25, 2015

The depressing thing about Platinum this year is that there's literally nothing I don't own on either system that they could sell to me, unless it's third party. I would be happy to pick up a third party Wii U or eShop title but as of right now, I am either not interested in Nintendo titles on the systems or I own the ones that I wanted.

Wait... did this article even make a guess at what the rewards would be? It lists some games but then it seems to dismiss them all with why it won't happen. So, are these your guesses or are you eliminating suspects to come up with a final prediction?

Vrgin XMarch 25, 2015

If those are the options for Platinum Elites, than I guess Mario Golf: World Tour is my only option. Got enough space to download it to my 3DS XL (with 5,500 blocks to spare), or wait a week, and put it on a New 3DS XL ...  8)

Quote from: Khushrenada

Wait... did this article even make a guess at what the rewards would be? It lists some games but then it seems to dismiss them all with why it won't happen. So, are these your guesses or are you eliminating suspects to come up with a final prediction?

The whole article is the predictions, with the "Why it won't happen" being the logic defending the selection if it doesn't come through.

AdrockMarch 25, 2015

Wii Sports Club seems like an obvious choice. I can't even think of a reason why it won't happen outside of Nintendo just not wanting to.

If these were the options it would suck for me since I own almost all of them and have basically no interest in the rest. With my buying habits, though, that's not surprising; literally the only thing in last year's set I didn't already have was Game & Wario.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMarch 25, 2015

Quote from: Evan_B

The depressing thing about Platinum this year is that there's literally nothing I don't own on either system that they could sell to me, unless it's third party. I would be happy to pick up a third party Wii U or eShop title but as of right now, I am either not interested in Nintendo titles on the systems or I own the ones that I wanted.

Welcome to last year for me.

Art_de_CatMarch 25, 2015

The most dissapointing thing about last year was already owning what was offered through me or my brother.  Which left me with NES Remix and....well....it was fun but was blown through so fast it didnt feel like a reward.  This year I am looking more to 3ds retail games over wii u due to memory left on the systems. Though if something trully awesome is offered for Wii U I could ax Pikmin 3 off the system.

Mop it upMarch 25, 2015

Sometimes it doesn't pay to be a Nintendo fan.

Manthony ChopkinsMarch 25, 2015

I haven't bothered with Platinum status over the past two years. Since this is the last year of Club Nintendo, I decided to get it. Like others have said, I would be upset if it was just more games that I already own, or have no interest in. An amiibo or 2 of my choice, would be nice.

ejamerMarch 25, 2015

Quote from: Manthony

... An amiibo or 2 of my choice, would be nice.

I'd also like that, but feel it's totally unrealistic for Nintendo from a financial standpoint. The shipping costs, production costs, lost sales from retailers... Don't get your hopes up too high or you are bound to be disappointed.


A selection of (slightly older) digital games is the most likely prize. That matches what they did last year, fits the text (quoted in a comment above) from their website, and is much more affordable for Nintendo to offer. Shouldn't be long until we find out though.


That said, we still haven't heard anything about distribution plans for those silver Mario figures.  ;)

Quote from: ejamer

A selection of (slightly older) digital games is the most likely prize.

Considering Nintendo has already explicitly said that it's going be that, I would agree.

What if those Mario figures aren't silver but are actually...... platinum.  :o

SorenMarch 25, 2015

Quote from: Khushrenada

What if those Mario figures aren't silver but are actually...... platinum.  :Q

Nintendo's own product certificate called them Silver though.

SorenMarch 25, 2015

buzzkillington.jpg

http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lvrnq2QH0s1qh1g19o1_500.png

There are times when a post makes me wish we still had the applaud/smite system, and it seems like it's always one of Khushrenada's.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMarch 25, 2015

Platinum Mario amiibo only for those who made Platinum every year of Club Nintendo. :D

Made of real platinum!

purevalMarch 26, 2015

I am hoping for Pikmin 3 as a reward. I skipped out on it during the Wind Waker offer because I wanted a physical copy. Right after that all the physical copies disappeared. Doh!

mustbeburtMarch 31, 2015

When do you guys think the rewards will actually be revealed?  Tomorrow is April 1st.  I know they said April, but is anyone thinking we'll see them tomorrow?  I'm thinking maybe April 2nd, since it's a Thursday and that's when they usually update the eShop and their eShop offers/sales.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, March 31, 2015

Quote from: mustbeburt

When do you guys think the rewards will actually be revealed?  Tomorrow is April 1st.  I know they said April, but is anyone thinking we'll see them tomorrow?  I'm thinking maybe April 2nd, since it's a Thursday and that's when they usually update the eShop and their eShop offers/sales.

Well, the Nintendo Direct tomorrow (April 1) would be a wonderful time to do so, so I think then will be the best time.

ejamerMarch 31, 2015

Tomorrow would be awesome, but I'm going to guess the start of next week.  Don't they usually do Club Nintendo updates on a Monday or Tuesday?

The site itself says "available between April 1 and April 30", so the latest I'm expecting it is right after the Direct.

You correctly predicted Mario Golf: World Tour, NES Remix 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Warioware, Inc: Mega Microgames, and Mysterious Murasame Castle.

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