Without doubt one of the biggest gaming success stories of 2020, especially in Nintendo's case, has been the unrelenting world domination of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Right from its hugely successful launch up until this very day, the game has been breaking sales records and winning over the hearts of players with no signs of slowing down.
So how is Nintendo planning on keeping this momentum going? We've seen plenty of significant content updates over the past few months as new features get added and seasonal changes come and go, so will these updates continue?
In an interview with Polygon, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser was asked about the game's future. Two potential ideas were raised – a New Leaf-style approach where the same yearly schedule is repeated before a larger update arrives, or a Pocket Camp approach where the game constantly evolves. Here's what he had to say in response:
"Yeah, I see two potential avenues here, one you already mentioned, which has been our update schedule that comes from the developers. And that can be around seasons, it can be around events, it can be around enhanced gameplay features. And that will continue as we go forward.
"I think the thing that is very unique and different about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, however, is also the [user-generated content], and people’s ability to really lean into user-generated content and make that available and to share that with their friends. And that doesn’t happen on any cadence. That’s an ongoing, constantly changing and evolving environment where people can visit each other’s islands and take advantage of that UGC, bring it to their islands and share it. So I think that’s another aspect that really is strengthening the engagement over time with Animal Crossing."
Following on from this response, Bowser clarifies that Nintendo "definitely sees" the sort of updates the game has received throughout its first year continuing.
So, in case you had any fears of New Horizons slowing down, it looks like the usual seasonal updates and new additions will be finding their way into the game for a good while yet. As the game rapidly heads for the title of best-selling Switch game of all time, it's great – and probably expected – to see the development team continuing its support, even if they are relying a little on players keeping the game alive through sharing their experiences.
Do you see yourself playing New Horizons for years to come? Would it take a more significant update like the one that New Leaf received to keep you interested? Share your thoughts with us below.