Towards the end of last week, Animal Crossing series veterans appeared at Japan’s Computer Entertainment Developers Conference (CEDEC). Series producer Hisashi Nogami and New Horizons director Aya Kyogoku discussed a number of topics about the franchise, also revealing some interesting stats for its latest release.
In one talk, detailed by 4Gamer, it was revealed that the majority of Animal Crossing: New Horizons' players are in their 20s and 30s. The genders of these players, and indeed players of the game across all age groups, are split fairly evenly.
Speaking about this data, Nogami speculates that the lower-than-expected figures seen for younger players might be down to the fact that the game hasn't yet been available all-year-round (with thanks to VGC for the translation):
"What would the public imagine if they were asked what kind of game Animal Crossing is? I think there is probably an image of ‘a game where you can live leisurely with cute animals’ and ‘a game for young girls’. However, looking at the gender and age data of Animal Crossing users, it is clear that the ratio of males and females is half and there are many users in their 20s and 30s.
"Since it has not been a year since it was released, it has not been possible for many children to buy it, but for the moment it is a game with a user group that’s likely different from your expectations".
In the same presentation, Kyogoku explained that, "in order for the series to continue to exist as an IP and for many people to enjoy it for a long time, it is important to continue to challenge and change with the times."
You can read more about this and other topics that were featured during the talk via 4Gamer (in Japanese), or via a translated summary over at VGC.
It might not have had quite the same impact with younger players as some may have been expecting, but its astounding sales figures more than make up for that, we're sure.
[source 4gamer.net, via videogameschronicle.com]
That's interesting. I am 40 plus and love it.
Fan of the previous games from when I was younger, so this is kind of relevant to me too!
I will be 36 years old on this year.
I still keep playing ACNH. 😀
Turning 40 soon myself and have played it more than my two 16yo girls.
I am in my 40s as well, and I have always loved the franchise
47 and I'm obsessed with it.
44 Male, and I love it. My wife same age loves it. Our son who is 7 is more into Stardew Valley. Doing my own on insight out of the box per se looking at my son and his friends it seems it is the upfront fast burn to a slow pace that causes die off with younger players. Totally IMO it seems it needs a faster pace, or more go-here-and-do-this on that island quest to maintain attention of the youth.
Now I wonder what the average age is of Nintendolife’s user base. I’d always assumed it skewed younger but perhaps not as much as I thought
Yet Nintendo’s target audience are children and early teenagers.
This game probably has the highest female gamer base out of all games, wonder why?
@Majer hope youre being sarcastic lol had this conversation with my partner the other day how people assume Mario is for kids yet most Mario games these days are quite challenging, using the new paper mario and the Mario rabbids games as an example they were too hard for my little brothers and even gave me a challenge and the puzzle battle mechanic was ridiculous for a kid to understand.
So yeah they might have simple graphics but definitely not for children
I have to double dip, I think a lot of people have this notion that 'gamers' in today's times are kids or college-age youth doing this in their down time...yet I find myself three times in Best Buy watching 4 adults in their 60's buying a Switch these past 2 months asking questions for themselves for the Switch is to be their Switch as their "kid took it from them" LOL. Doing Google searches on gaming trends from research firms have been very revealing to learn how wrong conventional wisdom has been. I find it funny how my patients tell me "oh I don't play games!" and then go back to playing their "game" on their iphone or Galaxy, LOL.
I'm a 36 y/o guy and play it daily. So far I've logged 225 hours. The only Switch game that I've played more is BotW.
This tracks as we all know older people play Nintendo games and all the kids play Call of Duty and Fortnite!
Comment is tongue in cheek somewhat.
25 years old. 410 hours.
@playstation_king Regardless how challenging you think Nintendo games are now (which I would have to disagree with to a certain extent), Nintendo targets children/families for their base. Though their games are for everyone one to enjoy, I highly doubt their primary focus is man children when Mario games are being made.
37, played an Animal crossing once on DS, didnt like it, never played again and never will.
But glad others enjoy it
@Majer Your comment needs clarification with "man children" for not sure if you are calling adult players of Nintendo 'children' still?
I'm 38, funny how I keep being told online that Nintendo games like this are for kids. Nintendo just make games for everyone to play and being able to shoot people or steal cars doesn't make a game grown up
@carlos82 Agree, as games become more cross-console release it will be hard to argue that Nintendo is a company that wants to be strict "family and/or children only please."
At 53, am I the oldest on this site?
But I don't really care. After God and my family, gaming is my favorite thing. From BotW, to Ori to Rocket League to ACNH and over 100 other games on my switch, I love gaming.
It is an art form, a mind expander, a relaxation tool and more. I would go on, but if you are on this site, you probably agree.
Yes, I am playing more difficult games: Lonely mountains downhill, Sayonara Wild Hearts, etc. But ACNH is the perfect chill game, as someone else said, it is not really a game, but an experience.
Which baffles me why Nintendo still mainly target and create these games for a much younger audience. It is the same principle with Pokemon (I know, Gamefreaks). The younger audience really enjoy mobile game on online gaming which are not Nintendo's strongest points. Regardless, adults really do enjoy video games and I think Nintendo can do a better job to cater an adult audience outside of nostalgia.
Nintendo’s always been crazy popular with the college crowd since about the N64. Honestly they should be targeting that age group while still keeping the games at a 7+ rating.
I am 43 male and I love playing ACNH! It is so relaxing for me after a day of hard work!
In addition, most don't even understand the game.
I'll bet ya that if I brought up gyroids and Shampoodle, lots of NH players are not gonna know what I am even talking about. This is one of the reasons why I don't like ACNH very much, and it's a shame.
My brother and I are both in our 30s, and we both got this game to stay in touch and hang out on each other island during the lock-down. Incredible how this dollhouse game kept us sane.
@Benexcelsior Even amongst adults there are a lot of casual pretty casual gamers who like things on the easier side. The family friendly games have a pretty wide range of appeal and it's why we continue to see them sell so well consistently. It's also probably pretty important to continue to target families/younger audiences from a long term business point of view, need to keep attracting new players. It definitely would be nice to see a few more Nintendo games here and there with a bit more depth to them as well though admittedly.
@playstation_king Mario Odyssey is super easy and Paper Mario lets you buy the solution to the puzzle. Mario rabbids gives you an extra health option. These games are 100% made for kids. Not saying that anyone can’t play them because that’s part of what makes them so great because everyone can play them, but Nintendo makes them with kids in mind.
I'm 89 and I don't play this. I don't play these baby games.
i'm 29 year old and have been playing games since my beloved late maternal grandfather give me a Game Boy Color, and i will continue playing games despite people saying Nintendo games are too childish and still have forces to play a game.
@Majer source? That used to be their target a long time ago... Ever since the ds and the wii they have targeted the casual market.
Look at any ads from wii, ds, or switch... Most are adults or teens playing the game... Not kids.
Graph ghost says woooOooOooOOooo
I love how there’s this huge dip around the 12/13 mark where people think, “I’m too cool and edgy for a dumb game about cute animals”, and then you get to the 20s and there’s a massive spike as people realise, “Oh thundersharts! Look at all this amazing stuff I missed out when I was busy being cool and edgy aaah give me the cute animals aaah!”.
Unreal sales considering they're saying the game has underperformed somewhat in the younger demographics and they're expecting more from that group come Christmas/Holidays. Insane.
@MsJubilee Well I’m 118 and I don’t go on video games websites because video games are for NERDS. Why would I spend my time STUCK inside in front of a SCREEN when I could be OUTSIDE throwing BRICKS at things like an ADULT. #winning #notanerd #imanadult
I am 36 years old and am i a baby for playing ACNH ?? 🤨
I never like your cranky comments.
@Bermanator I don't really know what point you're to make
"This game probably has the highest female gamer base out of all games, wonder why?"
Because the game is Kawaii / Cute.
Cute games are targeted for female gamers by mostly because those audiences love to be fancy and having cute villagers on their island. But there are always some male gamers who like cute games too, like me.
50 and spent 210 hours on it.
@dugan I'm just 3 years less.
This is like an AA meeting. 41, male, lifelong gamer, have been playing New Horizons since March 24th and Animal Crossing since Wild World.
This game has a great demographic.
@Maxz Damn you're old.
@georgesdandre This gave me a great laugh. I felt the same way reading through this age thread!
@Maxz Well, that escalated quickly! No need to take what she said personally, as it's good to remember she's probably just too old to be polite
@UmbreonsPapa The point they’re trying to make is that they’re a REAL fan, not some crap hanger-on like all these posers here cause Animal Crossing is cool now. In other words, they’re being a bellend.
Not surprising, people are very immature these days.
22 put 200 hours into it but haven’t been playing it consistently since june
Been playing since Wild World.
I wonder if Nintendo are just reluctant to admit that young adults prefer their games more than children?
They do make games for all ages, after all.
It'd be hilarious if they had this huge revelation and then adjusted their games accordingly.
I'm 34. I've been playing since the Gamecube version! I love it, and I think it's awesome!
I turned 30 a week after New Horizons came out and I've been a fan of the series since Wild World.
I think the reason given for the results regarding children are severely underestimating the large number of households that refused to buy the game for their kids (in households with more than one child) when it was revealed that the island needed to be shared. This was a huge deal when the game was released and caused quite a controversy.
@UmbreonsPapa Just saying, it's disappointing that it ONLY became popular because of the pandemic... If people really cared about the franchise... They would have gotten into it sooner. But to each their own, but don't go calling yourself a true fan if you haven't played all the mainline titles for at least a couple of days.
Not to mention Timeskippers (Future Perfect). Everyone loves to be all like "Why does it matter? It shouldn't matter, shut up!" Time skipping should not have been endorsed as much as it has... People should learn the whole point is a separate life, cheating should not be tolerated as much as it is.
@JTTS Same here but a year older (maybe less, I dunno when your birthday is)
I only stopped because it got monotonous... I still am waiting and waiting for Gyroids to make their return, as they would be more useful than ever before.
I also wish I was able to rotate the camera outside, still don't know why Nintendo didn't try to adopt a true third person camera into the game. That was the one thing I REALLY was hoping for. Really, my idea for Animal Crossing on Switch was a very different (and in some ways, better) than New Horizons. Not to mention the grid placement is only available for the house? What's up with that? Animal Crossing New Horizons really had something going for it... Hopefully once it's updated enough in like a year or two (maybe even less), it becomes more like the Animal Crossing I wanted it to be.
My idea was a game where you start off in a small town, then later on, it gets bigger and bigger (same old same old) but the game would allow you to use a true third person camera, and it would have vehicles. Once you got a vehicle, you could drive to loads of other towns and cities and visit. You may even see villagers on the streets or driving by. Once you have been in the first town for a while, you could move to a new one, but would still be able to visit the previous one. One late-game feature would be the ability to build YOUR OWN town/city, either in classic Animal Crossing fashion, or Sim City style; being able to switch between the two.
I am Time Traveller for both ACNH and ACNL and so what ?
I have rights to play with time skipping as the feature legally given by Nintendo.
I still have to work hard to shape my island even by doing Time Travel.
Beside, i still want to share my item surplus to other players while doing Time Travel.
I am not cheater, i am Cheetah.
@Anti-Matter What a shame.
@georgesdandre Your post is hilarious, like an AA meeting! I agree, I like the demographic and playing a game that is equally liked by different people.
I wonder how their demographics on this game are comparing to prior games regarding not "being available a whole year" - such as ACNL that also release in spring, after 6 months or so?
I feel like ACNH was designed around Minecraft's design ideas instead of AC's design ideas, primarily due to the idea that children were now fixated on Minecraft type games, and Nintendo had none of their own. Especially in Japan since Minecraft only took off in the Switch era, later than the rest of the world, so the fad is still "new" there, and enthralling children.
Nintendo has said they like to make a game design and then see what franchise fits it, before creating a new franchise. It would make sense that a few years ago that sat around and said "we need a building sim game" and someone said "Hey, Animal Crossing is already kind of a building sim, lets make a new AC game and use that as our sim game."
Ironically, that seems to have backfired, with kids uninterested because it's still not fully digital legos, while pandemic-confined adults, who find their social lives missing but are otherwise not gamers find it a thing "to do" to fill the time with some sense of meaning.
The ultimate irony, however, is for the actual demographic engaging with the game, it's a demographic that would probably have been even more enthralled by "old" AC rather than Minecraftified AC.
Old Animal Crossing doesn't appealing to me at all as i have ever tried City Folk, have no idea what to do but founding wall of texts of conversations. Conversations 101 will not selling to me, but building simulation started from ACNL with QR code was suddenly really appealing to me.
Btw, before i suddenly got addicted with DQB2 or DQB1 and Portal Knights, i didn't even like at all with cubic world Minecraft style. I was completely Big No No for Minecraft style games at that time. But strangely, it took several weeks to getting along well with Portal Knights as i found the cubic things were only building materials and surface, blended with natural things such as trees, bushes, furnitures, etc. As i played Portal Knights, it grew my new interest as DQB2 revealed, my hype with DQB2 suddenly boosted.
Building sim is fun, just like drawing the pictures.
@Anti-Matter we can definitely agree on not liking Minecraft's cubic style!
You know, after the roller coaster news today I remembered i spent a ton of time in that game building, years ago. True, that's much bigger than just a building sim, it's a full sim city type management sim, but still, I apparently do enjoy some building sims if it gives me the right tools to do what I'm thinking of.
And we definitely agree on dqb1&2 being great as well. I have portal knights on x1, actually. it was on sale cheap one time, and after you talked so highly about it, I was curious. I haven't played it much, but what i did play,I have to say I kind of like it. Technically i think it's a better building game than acnh. Different since it's more story driven and has combat more like dqb...... But i can't help but feel that if ac wasnt going to go FULL building sim, it really should have remained a life sim (even if that means you wouldn't have liked it still. ). Right now it's kind of in between. It's not the unique life sim it used to be, but it's kind of gimped as a building sim with minimal tools, but a gutted life sim.
@CodyMKW I stated this already in my second comment here...
Tap here to load 59 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...