Club Nintendo Rewards Offer Free Games, But No Physical Items, Much to Some Fans' Dismay

These year's Club Nintendo rewards consist entirely of downloadable games like NES Remix, EarthBound, and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.

104 Comments
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This year's rewards for members of Nintendo's loyalty program, Club Nintendo, have been announced today, and those who accumulated enough virtual coins during the past year can select from a handful of free downloadable games. However, unlike in years past, there isn't a single physical item being offered to members, and nothing that can't be easily purchased by non-Club Nintendo members.

Among the games--all of which are for Wii U and 3DS--being offered are Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS), Game & Wario (Wii U), EarthBound (Wii U), and NES Remix (Wii U) for Platinum status members, and Super Mario Bros. (Wii U) and Wario Land II (3DS) for Platinum and Gold members. Provided you qualify, you can make your choice here.

Particularly for Platinum members, it's not a bad assortment of games--DKC Returns 3D and Game & Wario each cost $30 normally--but these rewards differ from previous years. In addition to free downloadable games, Club Nintendo also traditionally offers members calendars, soundtracks, carrying cases, commemorative pins, and posters, among other things. It even offered a real-life version of Mario's hat in 2009, and while mine now serves as a home for spiders, it was still a fun thing to receive.

As a result of what we've become accustomed to seeing offered, many fans are underwhelmed by this year's selection of rewards. To reach the Gold or Platinum status, you needed to earn a certain number of coins between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. Coins are earned by registering game and console purchases on Club Nintendo, as well as completing surveys.

The full list of this year's rewards for North American Club Nintendo members follows below.

Platinum Status rewards:

Platinum and Gold Status rewards:

Did you qualify to receive Club Nintendo rewards this year, and, if so, what will you be picking up? Are you disappointed there aren't exclusive, physical rewards, or are you happier with a free game? Let us know in the comments.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Super_C
Super_C

I already own all of the games I want (which is probably the case for a lot of platinum members). These rewards are garbage. I used to put a lot of effort into providing thoughtful, helpful answers into the zillions of surveys I took for them. I thought it was worth it; they provided fun, unique gifts for us and I wanted to reciprocate. From now on, I'll just put random, garbage answers on the surveys so I don't feel so cheated when they offer a lame game I don't want as a "reward" at the end of the year.

Avatar image for Klyern
Klyern

LAWL they turned a bug into an achievement !!! XD

That Mario Bros disapearing stage thing, it was a bug that rarely happened xD

Avatar image for jdog8888888
jdog8888888

I am brand new to Club Nintendo, and was looking forward to getting a "free" game out of it. After seeing it is only really old and lame NES games for gold level Wii U players, I for sure will buy my games used.

Avatar image for sdinh225
SDINH225

<< LINK REMOVED >> Same here mang, gonna start buying crap used for WiiU/3DS from Gamestop/Craigs from now on since being a fairly new CN member with over 1k coins accrued up until now (with still 11 surveys to do, 10 postplay/1 registration) this "reward program" feels more like a kick in groins because I don't like digital titles on my Nintendo products. Mainly 3Des. Kinda feel like that bleh Power Rewards Pro since I can barely get anything with 47k points but not as bad I guess.


/unnecessarilydramatic

Avatar image for edpeterson
edpeterson

This is so "great", I mean I "totally" don't already have all the 3DS games. Seriously though, this is really stupid, especially for people like me who have all the 3DS games and don't have a Wii U. Good job messing up Nintendo!

Avatar image for bandit7319
bandit7319

EARTHBOUND! Son of a bitch! They do have a VC version! I've given my parents my Wii (original), but can anyone tell me if Earthbound is available any time through VC on the original Wii? What about Wii U? I've got the Earthbound ROM but it would be amazing for me to play Earthbound again on a console with a controller through the TV!

Avatar image for ccanfield1
ccanfield1

<< LINK REMOVED >> From what I understanding, Earthbound VC is only available through the Wii U from Nintendo

Avatar image for Tarquin_lord
Tarquin_lord

I expect the Amiibo figures to be added to the list, once they're out.

Avatar image for AceJakk
AceJakk

I was hoping for another charging dock for my 3DS. Free games aren't that interesting. I'd like to see exclusive items.

Avatar image for terrariafan247
Terrariafan247

<< LINK REMOVED >> Amazon?

Avatar image for AceJakk
AceJakk

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Amazon accepts Club Nintendo platinum and gold statuses as forms of payment?

Avatar image for PinchySkree
PinchySkree

Could not believe that they put an expiry date on the stars. I lost over 2000 of them so decided to stop buying new release games. Cost them far more than they saved there.

Loyalty is over a lifetime not a financial quarter.

Avatar image for DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

I wanted NES remix but I'm just a Gold member....

Avatar image for BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Once upon a time when a young console by the name of nes was around I was a club member aww them feels!

P.s we got better stuff back then too as club members by has times changed.

Avatar image for boringdork
boringdork

<< LINK REMOVED >> We got some great stuff from Nintendo back in the day! Although it was heavily linked to Nintendo Power Magazine.

Avatar image for ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

you get much better stuff over there than we in Switzerland. Add to that, that we got the club like a year or two ago :S

Avatar image for charlton3k
charlton3k

Is this available in the UK and how do we check? I've registered a few games this past year but haven't seen anything about a member status.

Avatar image for Mugzippit
Mugzippit

<< LINK REMOVED >> This isn't in the UK. We just get random bits of Nintendo branded stuff and every so often the odd useful item that tends to disappear within a day or 2 due to limited stock. Getting a bonus game like this would be pretty nice even if the selection isn't amazing.

Avatar image for Necrotron
Necrotron

My first year as a Club Nintendo member. A little disappointing, I suppose, and likely a cost cutting measure on Nintendo's part, but I really can't consider myself unhappy with a free copy of Donkey Kong Returns on 3DS, a $30 game.

Avatar image for Isuma
Isuma

Well I just got a 3DS and needed some games for it. I only made gold this year so I went with Super Mario Land 2. I am fairly disapptointed there was nothing physical this year. I made platinum the year they gave away the Mario crew statue and I LOVE it and I got the calender last year which is pretty cool as well so was hoping to add something to my collection.

Avatar image for Asm92784
Asm92784

This is my first year making Platinum, after buying a 2DS, a Wii-U, and several games. I was pretty disappointed with this years selection of rewards after seeing some of the items they have given away in the past. Most of the games they are offering I either already had, or have no interest in. I thought about Game and Wario, but it got pretty bad reviews, and can be bought pretty cheap now. So I ended up settling on Earthbound, which I had been considering buying for a while now, I just kept putting it off due to having a bit of a backlog, and the hope that I would somehow find a SNES cart for cheap at a thrift store or something, but that was probably never really going to happen, so a Free VC copy is better than nothing.

Avatar image for Naylord
Naylord

After 2 years of not making platinum and then scrounging up every code I can and this is the thanks I get?

Avatar image for thetravman
thetravman

Well that sucks I was hoping for some physical items to display with the rest of my videogame collection. Game and Wario it is then.

Avatar image for the13stuff
the13stuff

First world problems 101

Avatar image for Teufelhund84
Teufelhund84

<< LINK REMOVED >> The Cold War ended in 1991.
HDC problems 101. ;)

Avatar image for uncle5555
uncle5555

I'll take my proverbial "pound of flesh" from Iwata and Reggie's hind end's thanks, that beats the crappy rewards this year....yeesh.

Avatar image for Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

There aren't even any physical products on the Club Nintendo as basic rewards either, except for the old junk no one wants.


I guess Nintendo doesn't want me filling out surveys anymore. I'm better off selling the PIN codes on eBay.

Avatar image for Legend002
Legend002

Guess NoA couldn't find anything in their basement this year.

Avatar image for jdog8888888
jdog8888888

I wanted a game I wanted to play! NES Remix is pretty good, if you don't already have it.

Avatar image for FallenOneX
FallenOneX

I can see why some people might be upset, but it's still better than the years when Japan got something really cool, and we got a poster. Was going to get NES Remix or Earthbound until I saw DKCR for the 3DS.

Avatar image for Yamitora1
Yamitora1

Well, I chose the Mario Land 2 game. I hope Nintendo doesn't try this crap next year. We all should hit them up on twitter and tell them how they phoned it in.

Avatar image for digdugdad
digdugdad

People got a better deal buy getting mario kart 8, then the people that spent over $600 bucks with Nintendo. How does that make any sense? I think nintendo is punishing us fanboys.. I miss Sega

Avatar image for jflkdjs
jflkdjs

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yea, I got Pikmin 3 with Mario Kart 8, sweet deal :)

Avatar image for MrMisanthrope
MrMisanthrope

<< LINK REMOVED >> Sega had a customer bonus program?

Avatar image for ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

beware of nerdrage...



I still think they should just give people $60 e-shop credit and call it a day.

Avatar image for BigT232
BigT232

Well guess this was a fine year to get gold and grab Warioland 2. Next year will be Platnium after I get my Wii U and games, hopefully some good stuff next year.

Avatar image for Rotondi
Rotondi

@lazarius12 Feel your pain Laza. It's completely nonsensical for Nintendo to hand out digital downloads for Platinum reward members. It's common sense that almost all Platinum reward members already buy all the games they want. That's how they got there in the first place.

Avatar image for Shadow4020
Shadow4020

Really underwhelming, but I'm not gonna say no to free

Avatar image for smooth77
smooth77

im bummed been looking forward to a cool piece of Nintendo swag all year I want a physical item plz

Avatar image for BigPrimeNumbers
BigPrimeNumbers

While a bummer for people who like the physical things, for people who don't own these games, it's a pretty good get. I'd rather have a free game I'll play than some memorabilia that's bound for a dusty corner. Of course, a nice median would be offering a physical or digital reward, but who can really complain about free stuff?

Avatar image for lazarius12
lazarius12

<< LINK REMOVED >> Except I earned my platinum status by purchasing these games already. Not exactly fair.

Avatar image for krazken
krazken

<< LINK REMOVED >> Personally, I wish they would give the 3DS users all the GBA games and place Gamecube games on the Wii U store.

Avatar image for Yamitora1
Yamitora1

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> That's the thing I don't get, why does the Wii U get all the GBA stuff. I mean isn't it easier to make a hand held game work on a handheld game system?

Avatar image for Fallen_Lord
Fallen_Lord

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

Not necessarily. Emulation takes quite a bit of processing power as you are running two programs at once. The 3DS can handle NES games with no problem so GBA games should be no different. I think it is just laziness on the part of Nintendo.

Avatar image for jeremybristol
jeremybristol

I've gotten the physical award every year it's been available, if only to sell it on ebay. That great statue from a few years ago went for over $50. I'm kind of disappointed by this, as I don't have a 3DS or Wii U at this point, but I know someone who does, so I might give it to him--if, for instance, the goddamned site would get back up.

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

<< LINK REMOVED >> You are one of the people that gets totally shafted, the ones who only own a Wii and/or DS. As bad as this whole thing is for everyone, that group gets nothing.