While Animal Crossing: New Leaf was the continuation of that franchises' strong run both in Japan and worldwide territories, Tomodachi Collection was a Japan-only release on DS. Its sequel, Tomodachi Collection: New Life has been a sales success for the 3DS in Japan, and it looks as if the series is finally coming to the West.
While Animal Crossing is a 'sim' in the sense it follows real time and has its own economy and town building, the Tomodachi series is better known as a life-sim that uses Mii characters; the player can form relationships with other Miis and buy and sell food, clothes and various items. The similarities with Animal Crossing are clear, but that hasn't stopped this title from earning sales success in Nintendo's homeland, albeit not to the same scale as its bell-hoarding alternative.
If Animal Crossing is a good example of a series being skilfully localised to appeal to Western audiences, then Nintendo is aiming to achieve the same result with New Life. Satoru Iwata told the Wall Street Journal prior to the past week's Investor Briefing that Nintendo is currently determining which aspects of the Tomodachi title to keep and alter for its arrival outside of Japan. The Nintendo President reportedly said "it’s all about balance" in retaining the title's unique identity and style while appealing to a wide audience.
An extended Japanese trailer for Tomodachi Collection: New Life is below — would you be interested in this?
Thanks to Itsy for the tip.