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Nintendo ending Club Nintendo rewards program this spring, replacement coming later

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Nintendo is shutting down Club Nintendo, its long-running loyalty program, this spring and plans to replace it in the future, the company announced today.

The news applies worldwide, with the shutdown dates differing by region. Club Nintendo is a free loyalty program that offers Nintendo customers tangible rewards such as accessories, toys, posters and downloadable games.

Products released after today, Jan. 20, can't be registered with Club Nintendo in North America, according to Nintendo's announcement. March 31 is the last day Nintendo customers in North America can sign up for Club Nintendo, as well as the last day for existing Club Nintendo members to register products, complete surveys, register for warranty extensions, qualify for "Elite" status and earn coins.

Members who attain Elite status must choose a 2015 Elite Status Gift before May 1. Coins can be redeemed for rewards or downloadable games through June 30; all remaining coins will be deleted when the program shuts down at 11:59 p.m. PT on that date. Nintendo eShop download codes from Club Nintendo will expire July 31.

Nintendo of America launched Club Nintendo in the U.S. and Canada more than six years ago

"We thank all Club Nintendo members for their dedication to Nintendo games and their ongoing love for our systems and characters," said Scott Moffitt, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Nintendo of America, in a press release. Moffitt added that Nintendo will offer "dozens of new rewards and downloadable games to help members clear out their Coin balances." In addition, as a thank-you gift, Nintendo will give all Club Nintendo customers a download code for Flipnote Studio 3D on Nintendo 3DS next month.

Nintendo of America launched Club Nintendo in the U.S. and Canada more than six years ago, in December 2008. The initiative has been running in Europe under the Club Nintendo name since December 2007, while Nintendo of Japan began the original Club Nintendo back in October 2003. Nintendo of America provided no membership data today, but according to Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of Japan, respectively, Club Nintendo has about 6 million users across Europe and South Africa, and approximately 6.2 million members in Japan.

Nintendo of Europe will stop including Club Nintendo registration cards in retail games as of April 1, and eShop titles can be registered through April 20, according to Nintendo of Europe's announcement. Buyers of the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL, both of which are launching Feb. 13 in the region, won't be able to register those systems. Club Nintendo members in Europe will be able to continue using the program until it ends on Sept. 30, and all stars in members' accounts will expire on that date. Japanese members can continue earning points through April 20, and must use all points by Sept. 30, according to Nintendo of Japan.

Nintendo of America provided no details on its plans for Club Nintendo's replacement, except to say that it will announce the new loyalty program "at a later date."

Update: We've clarified the details of the shutdown for Club Nintendo in Europe.