Nintendo announced in June 2019 that Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a much-anticipated game for its Switch console, would be delayed until March 20, 2020, and asked fans to be patient. It had no way of knowing that when the sport appeared—amid a global pandemic that had left hundreds of thousands of people trapped at home and more than a little stressed—its timing could not have been more perfect.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, each person is a cheery little animal besides the gamers, who’re represented as cheery little humans. They inhabit comfy islands and live leisurely, low-key lives that play out in actual time instead of the breakneck tempo of maximum video games. There isn’t any specific goal, and the sport in no way ends. Importantly, support for Nintendo’s online provider allows gamers to go to friends who are also playing the game and hang out—a social interest that, at some point during lockdown, made the game’s delusion islands feel more ordinary in some ways than actual life did. The games have become a phenomenon, outselling each other in sales records aside from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and overflowing onto social feeds as gamers shared their positive experiences.
Nintendo Global And US Presidents Discuss Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Switch, And The Company’s Forays Into Theme Parks, Movies, And More
Even Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo’s global president since 2018 and a 27-year veteran of the 131-year-old Kyoto, Japan-based video game maker, was taken aback by how deeply New Horizons resonated. Given that it turned into the contemporary installment within the two-decade-old Animal Crossing franchise, “to an extent, we did have a positive expectation that income could do well,” he informed me while we spoke recently, usually with the useful resource of an interpreter. However, “in the final year, proper before launch, we noticed that the tempo of income for this name became very quick, which is something that we did not anticipate.”