One week ago, Nintendo released Animal Crossing New Horizons on the Switch. Now if you’re a gamer and a regular visitor to our site, you can hardly have missed that. Almost 7 years after New Leaf on the 3DS we finally had our hands on a full new game. And on the Switch no less! A long wait…but it was so, so very worth it. What a game! Such wonderful graphics, so many new elements to the gameplay, such an excellent crafting system extending the adventure. And all of that is clear after only a week of gameplay. It makes me proud to be an Animal Crossing Gamer!
Happy positive gaming in these dire times
Due to circumstances there has never been a better time to retreat to a deserted island. The Corona Crisis has made us all into a recluse, sadly. Staying at home as much as possible is the new reality, and a lot of people spend part of their enforced time at home playing video games. And what better game to play then a relaxing, happy and positive game. Much needed with the news that’s broadcasted all day.
In the past I’ve stated on here more then once that I had a hard time understanding why Nintendo was slow in releasing a new title for Animal Crossing. The series has always had a die-hard fanbase, and I’m pretty sure many of them are gamers who hardly play anything else but Animal Crossing. I started my gaming life with Wild World, and when I started looking for a new game to play after 1,5 years of daily tending my town, I couldn’t find any that really fit the bill. Sure, there were more simulation games out there, but none with that unique AC feeling to it. And still, 14 years of gaming later, if you ask me to compare it to another game out there, I’d be hard pressed to.
More than one Switch console needed?
All this led me to stating back then that I’m sure Animal Crossing on the Switch will bring an entirely new demographic to buy the console. People who were waiting for AC specifically to get a Switch, as this is their favourite title of all time. Maybe even the only video game they ever play! So the console is finding its way into homes for the first time.
The special edition console for the game is surely helping: I know many fans where there was already another Switch in the house, but sharing to play Animal Crossing is difficult. Because what they don’t mention in the game’s description: this game is a real time-sink. Addictive as can be, you will want it at your fingertips at all hours of the day!
Switch sales figures of the past week since launch concur: in Japan 392,000 Switches were sold, and that’s a staggering number. Because in the week of the consoles launch, 360,000 found their way to gamer’s homes!
NintendoLife.com has a poll up to see if many people shelled out for a second console. At the time I’m writing this, I see in their results that 30% of the voters now is a two-Switch household, and 15% of voters think it’s an enticing prospect. If you want to vote too and check it out, here’s the poll.
And the sales numbers of the title don’t lie either: In Japan, 1,88 mln physical copies were sold. This makes it the best launch for a Switch game ever: ahead of Pókemon Sword and Shield (1,3 mln) and Super Smash Bros Ultimate with 1,2 mln. And this is boxed games only: Nintendo doesn’t disclose digital downloads, and I suspect the ratio physical/ digital is higher this time due to people being stuck at home.
The sales figures in the UK show the same: more copies were sold in its first week then for all previous Animal Crossing games combined. It sold more then 3,5 times the amount of copies sold for New Leaf. Once again, physical sales only.
Proud to be an AC gamer
All of this makes me proud somehow to be an Animal Crossing gamer. But what makes me even more proud is that looking at my social media, my tweet streams and news feed is full of New Horizons images. People having fun together, making the most beautiful homes. Chatting with animal villagers or thinking of new ways to enjoy the virtual company of friends. No negativity, positive messages of people making the best of it.
Is Plucky trying to fly? #AnimalCrossing #ACNH #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/LiApiSxb56
— Paula Moore (@ChamZen141) March 28, 2020
And on my Switch the effect on my friend list is even more staggering: I’ve seen up to 42 people playing Animal Crossing New Horizons at the same time! That’s 40% of friends on my Switch! Of course, I know my friend list has a lot of AC enthusiasts on it, but I checked: 83% of my Switch friends has AC NH installed. I asked around, and most of my fellow writers notice the same. Easily 70% of their friends has a virtual island going!
Nintendo took their sweet time, it was a long wait. But the success, helped along by the unforeseen effect of Corona, is well deserved. It’s time Nintendo gets more credit for their family friendly game that anyone can play in their own way!
I was going to delay getting a Switch until New Horizons came out, but Pokémon Sword (and a nice bonus at work) had me purchasing one a bit early. Now that New Horizons is here, I’m elated! There is so much that I like about it…but I have to say the biggest improvement for me is the museum. What an incredible building! The other big plus for me is being able to play it on the tv – I don’t have to wear my glasses!
I know! One of my villagers was missing yesterday, so trying to find her I roamed the halls of the museum for the first time. What a building, I marveled at how detailed the design was. Felt like I really was walking around a Dinosaur museum like I did this Summer in the Museum of the Rockies, or at the National History Museum in London. Amazing! Btw, didn’t find my animal neighbor!