Animal Crossing: New Horizons is more than a video game. Since its launch at the very beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, Nintendo’s title has become a real phenomenon and has sold 26 million copies worldwide. In some respects, it can even be compared to a form of social network and in this it is similar to Fortnite. Both have in common that they attract virtual events that have an impact in the real world.
On Animal Crossing, the examples are multiple and many brands and policies have taken the habit of communicating on the game. Obviously, Nintendo wanted to dot the i’s and cracked a press release to establish certain limits on these practices.
From Joe Biden to Hong Kong activists, Animal Crossing is highly politicized
The Japanese company explains that it is publishing these new rules for ” preserving the experience of the millions of people who enjoy gaming recreationally “. Concretely, brands will therefore not be able to ” attract players to a sales page [d’un produit], distribute coupons, organize sweepstakes, collect personal information, or require to follow an account on a social network “.
In political matters, the tone is also very firm:
Please refrain from using the game inappropriately or creating any content in the game that would be considered vulgar, discriminatory or offensive. Please also avoid introducing politics into the game.
If these new guidelines are not followed, Nintendo reserves the right to deny access to the game for certain users. Some exceptions will of course be admitted but ” with the separate and express permission of Nintendo “.
As a reminder, Animal Crossing has been used for several political campaigns in the past. This is particularly the case of Joe Biden who created an island on the game. Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have also invested the title of Nintendo. During the first confinement, it was a way for them to exchange and communicate around their cause.