Nintendo's free-to-play collection game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is currently celebrating its second anniversary with the launch of two optional subscription plans under the moniker Pocket Camp Club. As you would expect, this news has not been received well by fans, with many players worried that these changes will target children with even heavier monetization while taking advantage of a common anxiety known as the "fear of missing out."
Overview of the Cookie and Depot Plan
Pocket Camp Club will soon offer two separate subscription plans, and the first I would like to talk about is called the Cookie and Depot Plan, which will be available sometime today for $7.99 a month. This plan will grant access to the member's only Cookie Shop. You can choose five Fortune Cookies (loot boxes) each month in this shop, and you may even have the chance to open Cookies that are out of stock. Players that subscribe will also receive unlimited storage, thus lifting the 5K limit that was clearly never necessary to begin with. So as you can see, this plan will provide the players that subscribe a leg up over those that don't pay for the sub.
Overview of the Happy Helper Plan
Next up is the Happy Helper Plan. This secondary subscription will provide each subscriber with a personal assistant. You can choose this caretaker from the list of animals you've met at your camp so far, and they will offer help by automatically fulfilling animal requests, and they can also help with events by collecting items. Essentially, you'll pay $2.99 a month for an easier way to complete tasks and collect items if you subscribe to the Happy Helper Plan. Much like the Cookie and Depot Plan, it's clear that those that pay for the Happy Helper Plan will have an easier time advancing in the game over those that don't subscribe.
It's also worth noting that if you subscribe to either of the above two plans (or both), crafting times will be shorter. You'll also gain access to the exclusive Pocket Camp Club Journal, where each issue will include articles about the animals in the game as well as first looks at new items.
Now, I can't say I'm surprised to see that Nintendo is adding subscription plans to one of its mobile games, because Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp isn't even the first mobile Nintendo title to receive this type of monetization. Mario Kart Tour was launched with an optional subscription plan in tow, and so I would imagine this will be Nintendo's strategy going forward for its mobile releases, which is disheartening, to say the least.
Pocket Camp Club and its two optional subscription plans should arrive sometime today, but of course, Nintendo hasn't stated what time we should expect this update to land. Regardless, things will be changing in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp shortly, though I'm not too sure any of these changes are for the better. Selling cheats to players to alleviate the purposefully designed grind of a game is a common tactic in the mobile gaming world, though one would think Nintendo would be better than this. Then again, it would seem that the bottom line is much more important than exposing a generation of children to gambling disguised as video games, which is why I'll never willingly indulge in a Nintendo release on mobile outside of work. Nintendo needs to do better.