It’s been approximately three months since the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch. The game itself has sold over 13 million copies since its release on March 20. About 40% of the players are female according to Essential Sports. And with all of the players, the majority are between their 20s and 30s.
It’s quickly gained traction as a very popular game across Twitter and Twitch, since it’s been the first Animal Crossing game to be streamable. Its predecessor, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, wasn’t as accessible to stream since the Nintendo 3DS required a capture card installed in the hardware to stream on Twitch or YouTube.
Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s popularity
Some games are really popular just on release and start dwindling as time goes by. With Animal Crossing, updates, seasonal recipes, and the feeling of just belonging to a community keep people coming back.
Jasmine, an active user on a female-only Discord server for Animal Crossing that was created by DramaKins, said that she is excited for the future updates to the game.
“[I’m] excited… [to] see what else the game has to offer. It is certainly different from New Leaf and I like that, she said.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf was the Nintendo 3DS version of the game after the Nintendo DS. It allowed for you to start over on a new leaf. In this game, you are the mayor. And essentially, the town can be customized in whatever way you would like, via the terraforming.
Is Animal Crossing still enjoyable three months later?
On Twitter, there have been some mixed reviews as to whether or not the game has been enjoyable to the user three months after release. Some claim to have run out of things to do on their island and don’t log in quite as often as before, while others are still clocking in about 10 hours a day on their islands and are still enjoying the island life.
Jasmine said that she enjoys as much as she thought she would.
“Terraforming is pretty cool but lots of work. Crafting is fun [and] I like that you can make your own items,” she said via Discord chat.
The flip side to the coin is not logging in to Animal Crossing: New Horizons as much in comparison to initial release.
Alisha, an avid reader and lover of video games, says that she doesn’t log in as much as she used to in the first month.
“I admit though I have played a bit more on and off in the last couple of weeks, [I have] not [been] signing on every day like I was for the first month,” she said via a Twitter conversation.
“The feeling that I’ve run out of stuff to do hit very suddenly. To be completely honest, I have lost a little bit of steam. I accomplished all of the ‘end game’ goals more quickly than I thought I would and I don’t feel the same anxious need to work on my island, because I am already happy with it.”
Alisha doesn’t have the nostalgic side to the game as others might.
At the time of writing this article, over 10 thousand people watch streamers play this game on Twitch. When this game came out, it easily reached over 100 thousand viewers.
What keeps players hooked in the game?
Features encourage sharing with others
This game keeps players coming back by offering a community that they can be a part of. The game allows players the easy ability to share screenshots of how their island changes over time.
Within the game, there is a turnip stock exchange. Players buy turnips at a certain price every Sunday and Timmy and Tommy buy them from you throughout the week. Websites like turnip.exchange exist to allow players to look and see which island has the better pricing on Sunday to buy or to sell Monday through Saturday. Players also share turnip prices on social media throughout the week.
Community groups outside the game
The difference with this game in comparison to others is that players can join sub-Reddits or Facebook groups dedicated to this community. Some players even make Instagram accounts that center on their islands or characters. There are also Discord servers that are dedicated to this game. The game as a whole has created a fanbase that is loyal but is also able to interact with each other in a way that wasn’t possible before.
Enjoyment all around for all of the fans!
Mr. Sammy said that his expectations were high with the hype surrounding the game at the beginning. After three months of playing the game, he still enjoys it.
“I still enjoy it greatly. My main issues with the game was the lack of info the game provides,” he said. “I had to learn most of everything that was important online. Though I suppose the game was designed for the player to figure everything out.”
There are some players that were excited to play the game when the announcements started to roll out for the game.
“When I found out about New Horizons, I wanted to play right away. It was something different from New Leaf that I was excited,” Jasmine said.
At the end of the day, enjoyability and dedication to the game depends greatly on the player. All in all, it offers a sense of community and belonging to players that feel like they don’t fit in or it can serve as a distraction of real world problems and be a getaway of enjoyment. The game also offers a way to customize your island in the way that you want it, something that the other games didn’t offer in the past.
Are you still playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons? What do you enjoy the most about playing the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @geekgalsco!
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Featured image credit: Nintendo