Nintendo plans to add more appealing content to Switch Online to ensure users keep their subscriptions active.
Retention is the most challenging part of any service like Xbox LIVE Gold, PlayStation Plus, and Switch Online. It's easier to get people to subscribe the first time than it is to keep them subscribed. The trick is to offer enough so that users want to keep their subs active after they buy in. Right now the only real appeal of Nintendo's Switch Online is the free NES and SNES games, but that could change soon as Nintendo pledges to expand the service.
Thanks to Switch Online's lower $4 a month price tag, the service has broken 15 million paid subscribers. That means roughly 28% of Switch owners subscribe to Switch Online, which is typical for these services (PS Plus users break roughly 30-35% and Xbox LIVE is unknown). But keeping those users subscribed is difficult. Nintendo says it plans to add "more features and fun" to the Switch through the service...but that's maddeningly vague.
"One more point to mention is the more than 15 million accounts worldwide with a paid membership to Nintendo Switch Online, and those sales occupy a certain presence within our digital sales," Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said in a recent Q3'19 earnings brief.
"But while new members continue to join, there are also those who do not renew their memberships. We will continue to enhance the appeal of the service to bring more features and more fun to Nintendo Switch."
The more features part could include new games added to the Switch Online library, possibly even Nintendo 64 or Game Boy Advance titles. Right now the Switch Online service is pretty barebones and requires users to download a special phone app to chat with friends. Hopefully we'll get more updates and expanded features in the long run, but for right now, people only really subscribe to play old-school retro games on their Switch consoles.
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