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Nintendo plans to "boost" Switch Online after surge in short subscription plans

Proportion of single month subs is rising, Nintendo president expresses "critical" need to increase value of the service

Nintendo Switch Online now has 8 million subscribers, but a growing number of them are opting for shorter subscription plans.

In a Q&A session with investors, Nintendo's management was asked about the popularity of Nintendo Switch Online in the wake of Super Smash Bros Ultimate -- which is the fastest selling console game in the company's history.

The long-awaited online service launched on September 18, 2018, and Nintendo reported that more than half of subscribers in its first six weeks had signed up for a "12-month family or individual membership."

Nintendo declined to offer details on the proportion of users in each subscription plan, but Shuntaro Furukawa, the company's president, said "a growing percentage is now opting for shorter plans like the one-month membership."

"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" he said.

"With this in mind, we are currently planning ways to boost the appeal of the service on a yearly basis... It is very important to our future business and we are giving it our all."

Nintendo Switch Online has subscription options for one month, three months, and a full year, with an additional full year option that covers a family of up to eight people. The service has multiple features, but the most prominent are online play and a portfolio of games from the NES era.

Nintendo is coming off the back of a very strong quarter for software sales, with new entries in both the Smash Bros and Pokémon franchises performing strongly in the marketplace.

However, it has lowered its Switch sales forecast for the fiscal year from 20 million to 17 million units, due to what Furukawa described as "insufficient" efforts to communicate the appeal of the hardware.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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