Science/Tech

Why 11 Million People Are Playing 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Amid The Pandemic

Nintendo’s newest offering has been embraced by so many amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now its creators share what made the game work so much at this point in time.

Why Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” Is Such A Hit

When gaming received a significant increase in both sales and player base as a result of people staying inside their houses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two of the games that served as an introduction to gaming for many are “Doom Eternal” and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” But while “Doom Eternal” and its fast-paced demon-killing carnage of game play is now being heralded as one of the best FPS games in recent years, the reception for “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is quite different in such a way that it exploded.

In fact, it’s gotten so big that you can’t scroll in social media without seeing either a screenshot, status or tweet about it. Even celebrities have joined the fray, with some of them surprising fans by visiting their in-game islands.

It’s also become a cliché to say that this is the game that we need to get through the pandemic. So what made it click so much?

Animal Crossing is a communication game. I hope that through their life in the game world, people enjoy communicating with each other, whether it’s through playing with other people or talking enthusiastically about the game. What would make me most happy is if people with all kinds of different tastes come together and enjoy the game in their own ways,” Aya Kyogoku

, who has worked on every iteration of the franchise since 2003, said.

And that couldn’t be truer since the game is all about socialization and making friends, something that a lot of us may lack right now given the pandemic. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” also lets itself become your own because while you can do the usual tasks of catching fish, chopping wood or building items, you can also customize your island the way you like, get into hybrid flower agriculture and even plug into shady networks that will help you earn currency better. And that’s just a few examples. There’s also no rules, which means you can play for hours at a time or even just once a week.

“Animal Crossing is a game that experienced players and newcomers alike can enjoy,” Hisashi Nogami, the series’ producer and a Nintendo mainstay since 1994, said. “It’s also fine to join in later, after launch. People who have been playing longer will have more knowledge and tips about living in the Animal Crossing world, and by sharing this information with others they may be able to enjoy their life on the island even more.”

Video game Video games combine all forms of media, from music, to visual arts, and of course, programming. Anton Porsche/Pixabay

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