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Friday, May 17, 2019

Why There Are Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'll leave it to your personal finances and judgment to decide if you should buy the vouchers, but I'll tell you why they exist.

Buried at the end of Wednesday's Super Mario Maker 2 Direct was a tangentially-related announcement: the creation and availability of the Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers. 

Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers are a time-limited offer (ending July 31st of this year) where you can buy up to eight in pairs of two for $100 for one pair. These can be redeemed for a variety of Nintendo-published Switch titles both present and future.

Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers
Unfortunately, these aren't physical tickets.
They're digital vouchers for digital games.

Everything here is digital. That's the point. See, you need an ongoing subscription to Nintendo Switch Online (or hitch a ride on KoopaTV's staff and join our Family Group, which has rapidly dwindling open seats remaining) in order to be able to buy the Vouchers—AND you gotta still be a Nintendo Switch Online member when you redeem the Voucher. Vouchers have a life of one year, by the way.

Funny how all of that works put together...

You can save $20 with the Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers ($100 for two games that can cost $120 put together) and they last for a year. You know what costs $20 and lasts for a year? A one-year individual membership to Nintendo Switch Online.

Coincidence? I think not. Nintendo knows exactly what they're doing.

To understand them, think about what was made clear by Nintendo with their latest batch of financial results. Nintendo software is overperforming expectations and remain very popular. Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions aren't going as well as expected, and people aren't renewing. Nintendo also wants to increase their ratio of digital games sold vs. physical, which did go up a bit for digital over the past year.

If there is clearly a demand for Nintendo software but a lack of demand for paying for Nintendo Switch Online, why not combine those in a bundle? 

The Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers offer is essentially “buy two full priced Nintendo Switch games and get one year of Nintendo Switch Online for free.”

(Plus however many Gold Points are involved.)

Personally, I still think Nintendo should allow the E3 2019 demos to be given away to one-year Nintendo Switch Online subscribers to drive long-term subscriptions. I myself won't bite on the Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers, mainly because I still want to buy my games physically. Physical purchases gives Nintendo a lower profit margin than selling them digitally, but it's my preference and I'm sticking to it as best as I can.

Note: You don't have to buy a new subscription in order to buy the Vouchers, though it's still what the bold statement said, just you spending $120 at different times.

Ludwig would give away Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers to people for the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program, but the Vouchers are specifically non-transferable, so he wouldn't be able to give them to you. You'll have to settle for winning the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program Round 26 to get a $10 Amazon gift card code, or get second place to win a $10 Nintendo eShop card code. That's still pretty good! Let the comments section know if you'll be getting these Vouchers for yourself, and if so, what you'd like to redeem them for.

Nintendo of America brought these vouchers back (under the same rules) in 2023.

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