Play, Video Games

Nintendo Is Ruining Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing New Horizons is coming to the Switch in just a few weeks. It’s the first proper Animal Crossing game since New Leaf came out for the 3DS nearly eight years ago. I’ve been in love with this game since its first iteration on the GameCube and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival on the Switch.

But now Nintendo is ruining everything.

It’s been widely reported that the new game, which takes place on an island, will only allow you to have one island per console. That means if more than one person uses your Switch, you have to share. We’re all taught from the age of zero that sharing is good and we should share our things. But I’m an adult now. I shouldn’t have to share anything I don’t want to. Call me selfish and immature, but I want my own damn Animal Crossing island. I’m not against sharing an island with my daughter and husband, but I want my own as well.

I shared my town with my daughter in Animal Crossing New Leaf and it was bad – really bad. She kept buying furniture, but never wanted to sell anything, so she left furniture all over the town and I mean EVERYWHERE. There were some locations that had been rendered inaccessible because of her dropping items everywhere. I had to go around cleaning up after her. As if I didn’t do that enough in real life.

A much more insidious, though unconfirmed, rumor is that your save file can only exist on a single specific Switch. No transfers to other consoles. That’s a one-two punch if it’s true.

We, as consumers, expect companies to have proprietary products. That’s how any media company survives. All of the television streaming services – Netflix, Prime, Hulu etc. – have their own original shows that can only be watched on their service. All the game companies have first-party games. It’s understandable for those games to only be played on their systems. But you can play the games on as many of those systems as you want and grab your save data from the cloud. The premise that you can only use one specific piece of hardware to play a game is archaic within the game industry. Though if any company is going to do it, it’s going to be Nintendo.

This sort of anticonsumer behavior isn’t a new thing for them. They regularly release upgraded versions of hardware multiple times during a standard console cycle. Take the DS for example. The original blocky console was released in 2005. In 2006, they released the DS Lite. In 2008, they released the DSi. That’s two upgrades over the course of three years. My husband and I bought the original DS and basically got screwed because the new design was loads better. We have a Switch. Will we be buying the Switch Lite? Hell, no!

Why does Nintendo do this? Because they can. Their brand will allow them to do all sorts of atrocious things without any punishment in sales. At the end of the day, I guess Nintendo wins. I still plan on playing the game, though it better be pretty awesome for me to remain engaged with the franchise.

One of my friends is always joking that I hate Nintendo. And you know what? I kinda do.