The estimated 12m players of Nintendo’s cartoon fantasy Animal Crossing: New Horizons were informed last week about the move, in which the Bank of Nook slashed the interest paid on savings from around 0.5 per cent to just 0.05 per cent.
As many users pointed out online, the much lower interest rate means that the most effective way of making money is now to gamble on the game’s internal “stalk” market — a bourse in which the only commodity is turnips, sold to investors during a single session on Sundays. The root vegetables rot and their value drops to zero after a week.
Players can also make money by catching and selling tarantulas, which fetch 8,000 bells apiece. However, the spiders are hard to find, appear only after 7pm local time and are dangerous, as a bite causes players to faint.
As some users went online to question the economic rationale behind the rate cut, others railed at the “brutal capitalist instincts” of the financier and his monopolistic position on the imaginary island.
But others said the logic behind the bank’s move was sound. “It’s a change to keep the game realistic,” Yellowbeehive said on Reddit. “With interest rates on home loans being 0 per cent it makes sense that interest rates on savings would be minimal. The Bank of Nook isn’t a charity and has multiple investments to maintain.”