Animal Crossing: New Horizons
|Animal Crossing: New Horizons|
|Release||March 20, 2020|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer, online multiplayer|
Animal Crossing: New Horizons[a] is an upcoming life simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch home video game console. It is the fifth main series title in the Animal Crossing series.
It is scheduled for a worldwide release on March 20, 2020.
As in previous installments in the Animal Crossing series, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a nonlinear life simulation game played in real-time. The player assumes the role of a customizable character who moves to a deserted island after purchasing a vacation package from Tom Nook. The game proceeds in an open-ended fashion as the player explores the island, and develops it into a community of anthropomorphic animals.
Similarly to the 2017 spin-off title Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, the game introduces a crafting system that allows the player to convert materials into tools and furniture, which can be used to decorate the game's interior and exterior spaces. Nook Miles, a new in-game currency earned by accomplishing various tasks, can be used to purchase premium items. Players will be able to invite animals to live on their island, and will have the option of choosing where the animal constructs their home.
The game will allow the player to customize the appearance of their character at-will, and will not lock specific hairstyles or facial features to specific genders. Players will additionally be able to select their character's skin color, a feature introduced in the 2015 spin-off title Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer appearing for the first time in a main series Animal Crossing title. The game's weather will also adjust to the seasons of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere depending on the player's real-world location, a first for the Animal Crossing series.
New Horizons will support both local and online co-op gameplay, with up to four players locally and eight players online able to occupy an island at a given time. The game will not connect directly with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, though there will be collaboration items between the two games.
Development of a new main series Animal Crossing title for Nintendo Switch was confirmed in a Nintendo Direct on September 13, 2018, with an unspecified 2019 release date. Nintendo released the game's title and first trailer at its E3 2019 Nintendo Direct on June 11, 2019. The company also announced that the game would be delayed until March 20, 2020, stating that "to ensure the game is the best it can be, we must ask that you wait a little longer than we thought." Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser cited a desire to avoid crunch and maintain a healthy work-life balance for Nintendo employees as a main impetus for the delay. Nintendo's stock market value posted a 3.5% loss in reaction to the delay, amounting to a total loss in value of more than $1 billion.
Director Aya Kyogoku and producer Hisashi Nogami stated that they selected a deserted island as the game's setting to differentiate from previous Animal Crossing titles, which are set in established villages, and to allow greater freedom for the player to customize the game's world. Isabelle and Mr. Resetti are confirmed to appear in New Horizons, though Resetti will serve a new and yet-unspecified function as the Switch's autosave function removes the ability to reset the game.
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