Animal Crossing: New Horizons might just be the most popular game this season and possibly the entire year. Released on 20th March 2020 soon after the lockdown orders were in place in most regions across the world and when Nintendo share prices had dropped to their lowest in recent times. The game became an unlikely savior for both the company and gamers alike. Nintendo saw a 40% increase in its share prices since March. The game, which is the fifth title in the Animal Crossing series has already broken many sales records. Within 6 weeks of the launch over 13 million copies had been downloaded. But how did it get so popular?
The game is a life- simulation title that allows players to create virtual versions of themselves with endless customizations. Players can also explore their “Island” and collect different items and materials that can be crafted into furniture and decorations. These can be used to decorate interiors and exteriors on the island. There is also the option of inviting animals to come live on your island. In a time when people are forced to spend their days indoors, this game has provided a much-needed escape for many. The fact it allows you to roam freely in an open world interacting with other players (through its co-op mode and online multiplayer) has made it a smash hit. The game is providing people with a way of interacting with each other in ways that are not possible in real life at the moment. The presence of an in-game currency that can be earned by completing tasks, combined with various options to buy and sell things converts to an experience that might be simulating real-world shopping for many users.
Another reason for the record-breaking sales of AC: NH is its popularity amongst players who typically don’t consider themselves gamers. Multiple Reddit users on Nintendo Switch subreddits have reported that their non-gamer spouses or partners are hooked to the game, leaving them with far lesser time with the console than they would have hoped for. Many of them are considering getting a second switch console for their homes, just so that they wouldn’t have to fight over it. But, as you may already know this is easier said than done, given the current shortage of switch consoles in stores across the world. There have also been reports of gamers buying international versions of the console by paying a premium in markets like China (where the game is banned), just to play Animal Crossing.
However, if you do manage to get your hands on one, don’t forget to protect the precious console from accidental damage with a Manji Command Shell. Especially because you probably paid a lot more than the retail price for it (it’s almost impossible to get one at the retail price right now). This Nintendo Switch Case, which allows you to charge the console while playing in table-top mode and allows you to play for hours without any interruptions.