Despite Nintendo’s attempts to branch into the mobile game market proving somewhat hit or miss, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has always been held alongside Pokemon GO as one of Nintendo’s better crossovers. The game has a sizable community which has been customizing its camps since day one, but it seems Nintendo may be looking to introduce controversial changes to the title's core model that will no doubt drive away some of its biggest supporters.
If a leaked image on ResetEra from user ZeoVGM is to be believed, the popular mobile game is looking to introduce a new subscription model in just a few days time. The picture, which contains an in-game news announcement from Nintendo, reads “With the second anniversary of the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp game around the corner, we have a big announcement to make! We’re rolling out a new paid membership service, Pocket Camp Club, on 11/21/19.”
That isn’t all. Further down the post, Nintendo detail what subscribers can expect from signing up to this new model, which supposedly will have two tiers. The message claims, “In one plan, you’ll be able to appoint one lucky animal as your camp caretaker”, where they’ll supposedly offer “extra help around the campsite.” It continues on by informing readers that the second plan will allow players to “receive fortune cookies and store your furniture and clothing in warehouses."
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, the AC game for smart devices, is getting a subscription next week.— Dr. Serkan Toto / Kantan Games Inc. (@serkantoto) November 17, 2019
(Nintendo plans to charge for two different plans under what they call “paid membership service”).
Seems like Mario Kart Tour’s monetization works. #AnimalCrossingPocketCamp pic.twitter.com/CIhQFVueuP
This has naturally drawn a lot of criticisms from the player base, many of which see Pocket Camp beginning to resemble the same structure as the widely panned Mario Kart Tour that launched earlier this year. Similarly to what Pocket Camp Club seems to be shaping into, Mario Kart Tour allowed players to access a vastly limited version of the game, attempting to entice players to invest in the 'Gold Pass' monthly subscription fee to gain faster access to essential unlocks. Fans were quick to accuse Nintendo of being greedy, and although there’s no price listed just yet, it seems as though it hasn't learned its lesson if this Pocket Camp leak is anything to go by.
However, Nintendo isn’t the only company struggling with overpriced subscription services right now. Bethesda has also received a lot of backlash for introducing a subscription service into the already divisive Fallout 76, with the features on offer having technical issues and even going as far as to incite an in-game war between base users and subscribers. Players of Pocket Camp will just have to wait and see if Pocket Camp’s integration of the feature is as similarly chaotic, and with the message claiming fans will learn more by 11/20/19, they won’t have to wait long to find out.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is out now for Android and iOS devices.