As is customary, Nintendo released its Q&A session it held last week during its Corporate Management Policy Briefing. This is the venue where investors get to ask Nintendo’s executives questions about the business. Typically the questions are often strange ones and this quarter proved the same.
Not much new can be parsed from the session that longtime fans of Nintendo didn’t already know. I do want you to pay special attention to the answers for question 8. Basically the investor is asking about the breakdown of Switch Online memberships. Are most customers buying a full year, or going from month to month?
As it turns out, when the Switch Online launched a little over half opted in for the 12 month or family membership plans. However, since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out they have seen a shift over to the monthly memberships. While it’s true that Nintendo does make more money off of someone who pays monthly and stays a member, the end goal of the service is to retain and grow new subscriptions. To that end, the president of Nintendo, Mr. Furukawa states:
It is critical that these members want to continue using the service for a long time rather than letting it expire, and for that we need to build relationships with consumers and enrich the content. With this in mind, we are currently planning ways to boost the appeal of the service on a yearly basis. We will announce more details as soon as we are ready.
As was mentioned in the presentation, Nintendo Switch Online is a way to leverage Nintendo Accounts to build long-term relationships with consumers. As such, it is very important to our future business and we are giving it our all.
Mr. Takahashi of Nintendo also added:
The recent release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate built on the first surge in membership sparked by Splatoon 2 led to take the subscriber base to where it is today in terms of numbers. We are preparing various new offerings for consumers who subscribe to the service.
It’s obvious that Nintendo is planning to add more value to Switch Online. It also appears that perhaps (and this could just be the way it was worded) that yearly memberships might get some type of an incentive over monthly ones. We know that weeks ago it was discovered that Super Nintendo games were referenced in source code, so we fully expect those to begin rolling out later this year. We’ll have to wait and see if Nintendo has more in store for us throughout the year!
You can read the full Q&A document below: