News Article

Animal Crossing Team to Utilise Hardware Capabilities to Drive Innovation for the Franchise

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Social network sharing prominent in New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been a major hit on the 3DS, earning significant success in Japan before achieving impressive results in the West. It's been remarkable how its attracted a sizeable audience that incorporates a wide range of gamers, taking over social networks for a notable spell after release.

In an interview with Edge, game director Aya Kyogoku highlighted how social networks had driven a new level of communication between players.

There’s no one specific thing, but what I’ve noticed is a lot of people use social networks and blogs to communicate about the game. There’s a function in New Leaf to take screenshots, for example, which you can upload to Twitter and Facebook; there’s a service that started in Japan that allows you to do this easily. Animal Crossing players talk a lot about what’s happening in their game, and publish or upload designs they made in the game, so there’s been a lot of communication about New Leaf outside the game. For example, during the first fishing competition in the game, ‘fishing’ became one of the most used words on Twitter in Japan, and other words like ‘carp’ or ‘black bass’ started trending around this time. While people are exchanging this information, it’s giving them even more fun with their Animal Crossing world.

The ability to post to social networks, as well as online, StreetPass, SpotPass and QR code functionality, demonstrate how the development team focused on utilising the 3DS hardware to move the series forward. When quizzed about what was next for the franchise, series creator Katsuya Eguchi made clear that utilising hardware will be the focus once again.

We have already started thinking about what to do next, but there is no concrete direction yet. First, we need to decide which hardware to develop a new Animal Crossing for, and then we want to use that hardware and find out what it’s capable of and what kind of features it provides. Then we can start thinking of elements of Animal Crossing and how we can realise them using the hardware. So until we discover these new inventions, we will not decide the direction.

We'd certainly hope that the franchise will appear on the Wii U, but what would you like to see in future series entries? Let us know in the comments below.


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User Comments (30)



Smitherenez said:

If I would upload pictures of AC to my facebook I will be laughed at by my friends. Also, I haven't touched the game in months! I really wonder what my village looks like now... Probably not good o.O




Make jobs. Collecting fruit and fishing all the time gets old. But make the jobs chill, otherwise that'd defeat the purpose of playing AC to relax. Like gardening job would be cool. Could make little minigames for the jobs maybe.



JtotheY said:

@SMEXIZELDAMAN wow, that's a really good idea. It would make the game perfect (in it's genre). Keep dropping Animal Crossing every 2-3 years and Nintendo have got themselves another succesful franchise!



MitchVogel said:

What does he mean when he says they're deciding the hardware? Is there perhaps something else besides the Wii U behind Nintendo's doors?



allav866 said:

My biggest complaint about New Leaf (and one of very few, mind you) is that while we can indeed switch out pants, there are only so many designs available. For example, I wear the Outset Shirt from the October Nintendo Direct. There is only one set of orange pants (known simply as "orange pants," btw) and it's a pair of orange cargo pants for construction workers. It works okay with the outfit, sure, but my options were severely limited. So the next step up is designable pants.



JtotheY said:

@EvisceratorX I think it's just the decision between making a sequel for 3DS or (what I'm hoping it will be) a version of Animal Crossing on Wii U.



ricklongo said:

I think Wind Waker HD's Miiverse integration is the best ever. I spent a lot of time just chilling out and writing funny messages-in-a-bottle for fellow players, and spent countless other minutes chasing bottles. If Animal Crossing comes to the Wii U, I hope they use this as an inspiration source for social media ideas.



MikeLove said:

I really wish I had bought the physical cart and not downloaded this one so I could have sold it online for $25 or so.

After about 3 months, I'm totally tired of the game and haven't touched it since mid-August. Once my house was maxed out and no more improvements could be made, I got bored.



Gorlokk said:

I'd like to see more effort put into your neighbors in game. For a game called "Animal Crossing", I feel there isn't really that much of a focus on any of the animals. For one, there could be more dialogue, so I don't hear the same stuff so often. That's just me though.



Rezalack said:

The animal crossing miiverse looks really good, I think AC on the Wii U would be great. New Leaf was my first AC and I played it for a good 2 months, but I got bored.. I'd still buy another one though, but probably only if it was a Wii U game with more stuff to do OR more depth into the activities that are already there like fishing, diving, etc.



kereke12 said:

Here's one way to boost up "Social-Network" on 3ds, is too finally release Miiverse.



EverythingAmiibo said:

I love AC, I'm not over-playing it so I'm not really close to completing it, but I generally get on for about 30 min each day



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Smitherenez I left my game for about a month. The worst I found was maybe a couple of weeds (I set it on Beautiful Town). I think neighbours always leave on the 31st of the month so providing you can speak with them before that day you can usually stop them from leaving.



Dpishere said:

I have put over 400 hours in the game, and am still currently playing it, that being said I don't see a need for a new Animal Crossing game any time soon, so take your time Nintendo!



Blast said:

Its so obvious that Animal Crossing U is in the works that its not even funny. AC: New Leaf is very fun in the beginning but man.. returning back to it is SOOOO boring.



LoZ4life98 said:

Once school started I kinda stopped. I guess I'm not the biggest gamer, but I would say I got my money's worth after playing the game for almost 200 hours.



Gold_Ranger said:

I'd like to see a Zoo incorporated into the game. The Fish/Bugs/Fossils are always the same and just only slightly revised.
And this is coming from someone who's only played the First one and New Leaf.
You have to go "hunting for animals in a Jungle, a Desert, a Forest and an Ice Cap.
Make it a little more intensive and maybe make it like a Mini-RPG type. You earn exp/Rep points or something.

Fossils need to be an entire floor.
Aquarium needs an Entire Floor.
The Top Floor should be a Planetarium.
Bugs should be an entire Floor as well.



Gold_Ranger said:

More shops, different types of shops.
More Nintendo Themed Items. At least equal out the stuff, there's WAY too much Mario and not nearly enough of everything else.

Bring back the Personal Island.

Let us Choose how to design our town a bit more

I lost so many Trees, Flowers, Hybrids and Bushes because of this in New Leaf, I've actually taken a break from the game because I got so frustrated with this aspect.



Gold_Ranger said:

I want to enjoy EVERYONE's Holiday's!!!!



Gold_Ranger said:

Let us Move things when they are no longer wanted in certain areas.
It's a hassle trying to plan a town and not knowing what new stuff might be requested to be built next.

Make the town bigger, Make the beach bigger and longer. Have more animals in the town, and actually have them outside and not only 3 or 4 outside. Make them actually do stuff other than plan flowers or water flowers.

Let us after a certain amount of time and "persuasion" be able to evict an Animal.

There's more, but I can't remember what else i'd like...



Prosefor said:

New Leaf has improved the Animal Crossing game series but the rapid grass deterioration has not been eliminated. There is a trick to fixing it but that involves Time Traveling. There have been new features that require you to step out and visit other towns. Social media web sites make it easy to find people who play the game and allow you to interact anonymously with strangers who have a love for the game in common. Playing Bingo and requiring signatures are just two samples of events in the game that require you to visit others over wifi. (unfortunately Nintendo Servers are not really up to the task of providing error free connections)



marck13 said:

I agree with most foreposters. There is still tons of room for improvements in AC and it seems like (not even) the sky is the limit .. I want to see the next one appear on Wii U!
At least with cross-play between Wii U and 3ds



WiiLovePeace said:

"So until we discover these new inventions, we will not decide the direction." I guess that means that Animal Crossing isn't coming back until the next Nintendo handheld or home console is released.



Mytoemytoe said:

New Leaf has the best comedic writing in a video-game; the Nintendo Tree House people are crazy talented.

With that said, I put my 200 or so hours in with New Leaf, had a lot of fun, but I'm not really interested in going back other than out of a sense of responsibility to my town. There's just not that much left to do outside of being a collector and I can only collect up to a certain point.

Some of the previous comments make great points. We don't need more shops but more and varied kinds of buildings and businesses where the player can work. I love the idea of a zoo. I think the customization needs to go even further, to the point where you can save a ton of designs and easily share a ton of designs.

We'll probably never get mini-games in Animal Crossing though the coffee shop kinda approaches it. I wish there was more stuff like that. The Zoo could be fun where you have to feed the various animals the right kind of food.

The devs are clearly focusing on the right things, I think a Wii U-3DS cross platform title makes a lot of sense, maybe two different games that communicate with each other and feature a vast in-game network that allows players to easily share stuff with friends, as well as the Miiverse integration.

In conclusion, more customization, more online, more activities, these aren't at all essential to making money but they would all make the core game more interesting to a wider variety of people.



paulc101 said:

Before I get started, AC:NL was a great game.

Now the social media integration that was "built into the game" is totally non-existant. The way you upload photos taken in game is done 'clunkily' through the 3DS browser.

What I would like to see is direct social media integration built INTO the game itself, so you don't have to take a snap in game, then go to the home screen, launch your 3ds browser, goto the website, login, connect with facebook/twitter/tumblr, then upload your image.

It would be easy enough for them to integrate this functionality directly into the game so you don't have to exit each time you wanted to upload an image, hell you should be able to have someone in your town or be visiting someone elses town and still upload an image without having to go back to the 3ds homescreen and being disconnected.

This kind of functionality is one of the key areas Nintendo is failing in, while they have taken some small steps towards system level services it is a mostly shallow affair.

Even the recent WWHD game on Wii U has its problems, have you tried throwing one of the messages in a bottle into the ocean/map? It takes forever, these messages would literally be kilobytes in size there is no reason it should take over 5 seconds to load/save when doing so.

Thats the end of my rant.



gregrout said:

I think Animal Crossing needs a lot of regular updates to game to hold on to its player base. Don't get me wrong, the game is quite a bit of fun when you're starting off. Once you've run out of town projects, your house is maxed out, there's really not a lot of incentives to keep playing.

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