Animal Crossing: New Horizons developers hope players find 'escape' in its joyful world


Field of Dreams

I don’t know about you, but my Twitter timeline basically consists of two topics right now: The global COVID-19 pandemic, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons videos. It sure makes for an undeniably ironic juxtaposition, given the happy, outdoorsy, communal nature of the Nintendo Switch release.

This strange timing hasn’t escaped the attention of New Horizons’ producer Hisashi Nogami and director Aya Kyogoku, who have expressed their hopes that players find a little bit of sunshine within the colourful worlds of Tom Nook, Isabelle, Blathers, and friends.

“We’ve been planning this release for quite some time, so it’s unfortunate that this timing overlapped with what’s currently happening in the world,” Nogami said in an interview with The Verge. “I am very disheartened and saddened by the events happening across the world. Considering the timing, we hope that a lot of the Animal Crossing fans will use this as an escape, so they can enjoy themselves during this difficult time.”

“It’s the kind of game you want to enjoy with other people, and talk about it, and share the experience with your friends and family,” added Kyogoku. “So I think that a global, simultaneous release is a really good approach for the franchise.”

I, myself, haven’t picked up New Horizons. As Britain enters a state of (supposed) lockdown, I feel like it was a bad call. But for whatever it’s worth, the amazing creativity that’s been brightening up my timeline by the hour – whether it’s funny stories of spider hunts, heartwarming tales of togetherness, creative endeavors, clothing and furniture, or simply amazing movie references – help bring a little light and colour into some pretty dark mornings.

A new Animal Crossing release has been a mainstay on video game wishlists for many, many years, and now one has finally arrived during one of the grimmest and most uncertain periods in our timeline. Ironically, perhaps that’s when it was needed the most.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now for Nintendo Switch.

Creators of Animal Crossing hope New Horizons can be an “escape” [The Verge via Videogamer]