This week, the much anticipated E3 took place in Los Angeles. As I wrote a week ago it’s a show I look forward to, although, it doesn’t always lead to much joy. Get your hopes up like I did and it can also lead to a lot of disappointment.
Nintendo and Square Enix nailed it
To me, the best presentations this year were by Nintendo and Square Enix. Hands down! I tried watching XBox and Ubisoft, as well as some of the others’ live streams. Boy, some of the games shown are graphically realistic…a bit too realistic for my taste. Seeing the footage of games like Cyberpunk 277 I can understand the concern of parents who don’t want their young children to play video games.
Nintendo gave us a Direct that was jam-packed with gaming goodies. This year, there was great variety in the games offered. Earlier this week I highlighted the ones that stood out to me, as you can see here: Nintendo Direct at E3 2019
Bombshells in the Nintendo presentation
There were two bombshells in there: first of all, the delay of Animal Crossing. I will get into that in a minute.
Secondly though, the little bit of footage for the sequel to Zelda Breath of the Wild. Very ominous, wasn’t it? I’m glad though we will get another open-world game in the same fashion as BOTW was made. That won’t stop me from giving a very different Legend of Zelda game a try too. Links’ Awakening looks so darn cute, exactly how I like my Link. I know the fans have some concerns of the shiny colorful remake of the game, but you see, The Windwaker is one of my favorite Zelda adventures!
But, let’s get back to Animal Crossing New Horizons. I like the premise, I like the way it’s presented that The Nook inc. Getaway Package it going to take us to a deserted island. I like the look of the game, I like the crafting element a lot. I love the outdoor furniture and I can’t wait to see what more is in store. What I don’t like, is the delay.
A good work-life balance for Nintendo employees
In an interview with IGN Doug Bowser talked about the reason behind the delay. Here’s what he had to say:
“ The crunch point is an interesting one,” Nintendo of America’s president Doug Bowser told me at E3. “For us, one of our key tenets is that we bring smiles to people’s faces, and we talk about that all the time. It’s our vision. Or our mission, I should say. For us, that applies to our own employees. We need to make sure that our employees have good work-life balance.
One of those examples is, we will not bring a game to market before it’s ready. We just talked about one example [in Animal Crossing’s delay]. It’s really important that we have that balance in our world. It’s actually something we’re proud of.”
Now it’s not like I’m not a people’s person, I totally approve of a good work-life balance. But what I hear in the back of my head when they use this as an excuse: they started working on the new Animal Crossing title too late. When we had the first little clip of Tom Nook behind his desk enticing us, I cannot help but think that that was probably literally all there was.
Is Nintendo listening to AC fans?
And I get to wondering: how can that be? Hadn’t they given a new Animal Crossing game a thought before? When we got the first glimpse in September 2018, it was more than 5 years since New Leaf was released. And it’s not like the fans weren’t vocal: the demands for an Animal Crossing title were loud on social media. And still, I suspect they did nothing with it, entirely focusing on the mobile title!
To me, it’s not about the wait. And if indeed it means the employees can work at their leisure and let creativity flow, then perfect. Take your time and bring the game when it’s absolutely ace! But what I hate is that I feel AC fans aren’t being taken seriously.
I’ve made the argument before and I I’ll say it again. Animal Crossing on the Switch will bring an entirely new demographic to buy the console. People who are 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!
Looking at the gameplay in the TreeHouse I cannot help but see my fears confirmed. That indeed there isn’t much more then what was shown. And if that’s true, then the game still has a long, long way to go. Which makes me wonder: March 20? Why such a specific date when release is still 9 months away? Or is this communicated because it’s just within Nintendo’s fiscal year that ends on March 31? I truly hope I’m totally wrong, but it could even mean more delay.
What do you think? Am I being overly negative? Did I miss signs that show the opposite? I would really like to hear your opinion!
I read something interesting on some animals crossing groups I’m in on Facebook, March 20th happens to be World Happiness Day 😀 I’m a little disappointed with the delay but at the same time I have so many games in my backlog and ones that are being released before AC that I’ll definitely stay busy, plus it gives me time to save money and I think the game looks pretty amazing. Looking forward to it!
Did you find the “DIY app” on the phone in this game looks just like the mobile version? I hope that is the only thing that looks the same. I didn’t enjoy the mobile version.
BTW, did you hear about the “rumor” that Nintendo is planning to come out with a newer version ( or was it 2 more newer version?) of the Switch . I don’t know how true the rumor is but if one is the smaller ( mini version ) I hope the price range is half of the original. I will buy one, since I prefer handheld over dock. And the battery life last longer than the 1st version.
Oh and I forgot to add… Did anyone remember that Sakurai was still working on Smash even when he is sick and Iwata still working and doing direct even when he has Cancer? So err… “We need to make sure that our employees have good work-life balance”? I…. don’t know. Maybe some fans who constantly defend nintendo might see something different that I don’t?