Nintendo's Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be getting a paid subscription service in line with the one the company has rolled out for Mario Kart Tour, although details on exactly what those will look like have yet to be fully announced. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been out for two years now, and Nintendo's mobile version of the popular village simulation IP has been a middling effort that nonetheless has managed to generate a fair amount of money for Nintendo.
With that said, however, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been flirting with much more aggressive monetization models since its release. While fans of the franchise as a whole have still found things to love about the mobile adaptation, they've become increasingly more concerned ever since the game added fortune cookies (loot boxes) to the game that could be bought with Leaf Tickets, the premium currency Nintendo has implemented for the mobile title. Those fortune cookies gave way to the game asking for more premium currency for more kinds of items, with even clothing becoming something of a premium offering - at least the type players really wanted. With the monetization of games constantly under scrutiny from consumers and Nintendo already catching flack for Mario Kart Tour's aggressively bad microtransactions, many thought that might be the end of the problems plaguing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
Instead, a new in-game notice from Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, documented by Polygon, has alerted players to a new upcoming premium subscription service. The notice tells players that they'll be getting two options: one that allows them to become the camp caretaker of their village and another that grants players fortune cookies and access to a warehouse to store their belongings. What the camp caretaker role entails has yet to be described, although it seems to suggest that it will automate more of the game's mechanics by highlighting a specific Animal Crossing villager and potentially yield more than an average player might receive. The influx of fortune cookies is much more transparently obvious - those willing to pay to subscribe to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will get easier access to all of the game's premium content. More details will be made available on November 20.
For a game that has already been struggling greatly to attract a dedicated playerbase beyond the one that would've been there if it was an even worse title, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's proposed paid subscription service is ambitious. If it follows the same type of pricing consumers deal with in Mario Kart Tour, that'll mean Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's subscription will cost $4.99 a month and give players access to special items each month on top of the other bonuses being promised by the in-game notice.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will release more news soon, but for now, players are left wondering why the game is even pursuing this route. Nintendo was already criticized for a pretty blatant money grab with Mario Kart Tour, so doubling down on another mobile title might send the wrong message. Is this what the future of mobile games from Nintendo looks like, and if so, is the company heading in the right direction?