- Nintendo lowered the interest rate in “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” to 0.05% on Thursday, from 0.5%, Kotaku first reported.
- Players received a letter from the game’s Bank of Nook explaining the change. The letter included a rug shaped like a bag of bells.
- The update was likely made to spur in-game spending and deter users from using a time-travel exploit to speed up interest payments.
- The virtual rate cut follows similar policies around the world as central banks ease lending conditions to combat the coronavirus and its economic fallout.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
The central bank in “Animal Crossing: New Horizons'” is the latest monetary authority to slash rates amid the global economic crisis.
Nintendo lowered the game’s Bank of Nook interest rate on Thursday to roughly 0.05% from 0.5%, Kotaku first reported. Interest payouts are now limited to 9,999 bells, the game’s currency.
“We are writing to inform you that we have reduced the interest rate offered to all savings accounts,” a letter sent to players from the Bank of Nook read. “We appreciate your business.”
The Bank of Nook letter also gifted players a rug shaped like a bag of bells.
Read more: Meet the 20-year-old day-trading phenom who’s turned $20,000 into more than $1 million. He details his precise strategy — and shares how he made $11,400 in 2 minutes.
Kotaku’s Ethan Gach tested the change by shifting the game’s clock forward to May 2021 before and after the update. While the pre-adjustment trick yielded a 63,571-bell payment for Gach’s 1.1 million-bell fortune, the same gimmick only earned 6,579 bells after the bank’s rate cut.
It’s unclear why the rate was adjusted, and it won’t have the same monetary effect as similar real-world policies. Loans in “Animal Crossing” are interest-free, rendering the rate cut fruitless for driving lending activity. It’s more likely Nintendo sought to boost spending among players instead of allowing them to passively grow their wealth in the game’s bank.
Read more: ‘I’ve gone to cash’: Mark Cuban outlines his coronavirus investing strategy ahead of another ‘leg down’ in markets — and says now is the time to buy real estate
Nintendo might have also wanted to deter players from using a so-called “time travel” exploit. Interest payments are made each month, and players could shift their device clocks forward to quickly reap cash. The latest update now caps the earnings one could make from the exploit and drastically lowers the amount made with each month skipped.
The Thursday update brings the Bank of Nook’s interest rate more in line with the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and Bank of England’s policy stances.
Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:
Oil spikes 9% as market rebound puts negative prices in rear view
The Fed will keep interest rates near zero for at least 3 more years, economist survey says
The coronavirus is like a ‘nuclear bomb’ for companies like WeWork. 10 real-estate insiders lay out the future of flex-office, and how employers are preparing now.
Join the conversation about this story »
NOW WATCH: Tax Day is now July 15 — this is what it’s like to do your own taxes for the very first time