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  Nintendo Spams ‘Animal Crossing: Wild World’ Players?  
Posted 2006-09-12 by Tony Walsh
Players of the online-enabled town-building game Animal Crossing: Wild World received an unsolicited [update:Dezro says it's opt-out] marketing message recently from Nintendo, the game's maker. The message was sent through the game's email system, normally used to deliver inter-player mail as well as free virtual gifts from Nintendo such as home decor and furniture. According to Animal Crossing Ahead, the message refers to the recently released Nintendo game Star Fox Command: "Dear [name], Star Fox Command stats are live! We were going to give you Slippy, but take this instead! Attached to the letter is an Arwing!"

Historically, Nintendo has been known to cross-promote its games through integrated in-game advertising, a practice I've always found a bit crass, but this latest method is particularly sleazy. Certainly it's an interesting strategy to use Animal Crossing: Wild World's email system to shill other games, but I'm not sure it's the right one. This is a case, like SWAT4, where advertising was added after the game's initial release. I have no problem paying once for a game, but spamming via the game's communication tools is making players pay repeatedly. Maybe there's more to Animal Crossing's dark side than revealed by JoeForever.
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Comment posted by Dezro
September 13, 2006 @ 12:08 am
Receiving messages from Nintendo is opt-outable. (Maybe opt-in only? I can't remember.) IIRC, just go upstairs in your house and use the phone. One of those options should cover it...

This is a pretty benign thing IMO. No illusion-shattering graphics, nothing you can't turn off... You can even throw out the letter without opening it, and still keep the rare item they send (which is already available in the game - Nintendo didn't just have it there for the express purpose of promotion).

And that's the main thing for me, I think. If they said, "Hey, Star Fox is out!" and didn't send an item, that would be marketing. But to me it seems more like, "Hey this is the Nintendo WiFi Connection dude here I just set up the Star Fox multiplayer stats on our website I know it took like over a week but to celebrate here's a pretty hard to get item that I'm sure you'll like."
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
September 13, 2006 @ 8:31 am
Thanks for the informative details, Dezro. I wasn't aware players could grab the goodie without reading the letter. I agree with your assessment, this is pretty much a non-issue. I'm going to update my post to point to your comments.
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