Nintendo Promises Animal Crossing Updates, But Does Anyone Care?
It's no secret that fans of Animal Crossing: New Horizons have been screaming out to Nintendo for some fresh, exciting updates. After all, when a game sells over 33 million copies worldwide, you'd expect it to be something a company would funnel a lot of money into, right?
And while Nintendo has continued to add miniature updates to the game since it first arrived in March 2020, players can't help but think the gaming giant hasn't quite done enough to secure their return to their long-abandoned islands, nor do their promises of updates amount to anything significant.
On July 27, 2021, Nintendo teased that there would be an upcoming free update filled with Fireworks (a day that we as players have actually already had), and confirmed that they did indeed have more plans for the game in the future but the question remains - does anyone care anymore?
Avid Animal Crossing communities are a far cry from their former selves, and many self-proclaimed fans of the franchise have even admitted that not only have they not visited their islands in months, they also feel guilt at leaving them in such disarray.
Terraforming is great... until you build a beautiful island haven that you're terrified to start over because of the hours of graft put into it. So where does that leave you as far as gameplay is concerned? Oh yeah, catching Seabass aplenty (No wait, it's at least an F-!).
Then there's the absolute waste of time that is the Museum. Surely, Blathers wants more for his beloved building. Players have argued that they don't even use their shovels to see what's below the surface anymore after completing their entire fossil catalogue back in 2020. As an avid dinosaur lover, you'd think there'd be more fossil types to discover instead of an abundance of bugs - which Blathers reminds you constantly that he HATES.
Where are all the characters of the past? Where is Brewster, heck, I'd even settle for Resetti shouting at me for not closing my game correctly if it meant we'd have some reason to return.
When Islanders don't leave unless you tell them they can, and the turnip-selling market makes it easy to pay off Tom Nook's loans in less than a week, what more is there to really do on a deserted island, and what opportunities have Nintendo wasted waiting so long for a proper update to the game?
These smaller, free updates are only providing at best a few days of additional gameplay, and for a game where the days are literally played out in real-time, it's simply not enough.
If Nintendo plans on dedicating more time to the game, then it needs similar DLCs to the likes of Pokemon Sword and Shield's expansion packs - Isle of Amour and The Crown Tundra. While I do think at this point they should also be free, as someone who desperately enjoyed her time on her island (although was it also largely down to the global pandemic lockdowns?), I'd even be willing to pay if it meant we got more than just a 'community day'.
For a game that is supposed to be one of their biggest flagship titles, Nintendo has definitely dropped the ball on Animal Crossing. What was once a blessing during one of the most stressful, uncertain times in our lives has now turned into a guilt-ridden nightmare in the shape of a money-grabbing racoon and an abundance of seabass.
Animal Crossing could still be a great game, but time is definitely running out on bringing back returning players. Hopefully, Nintendo can pull something great out of the bag.
If not for the fans, they should do it for Timmy and Tommy.