Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing New Horizons.jpg
Developer(s)Nintendo EPD
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Director(s)Aya Kyogoku
Producer(s)Hisashi Nogami
Programmer(s)
  • Yoshitaka Takeshita
  • Hiromichi Miyake
Artist(s)Koji Takahashi
Writer(s)Makoto Wada
Composer(s)
  • Kazumi Totaka
  • Yasuaki Iwata
  • Yumi Takahashi
  • Shinobu Nagata
  • Sayako Doi
  • Masato Ohashi
SeriesAnimal Crossing
Platform(s)Nintendo Switch
ReleaseMarch 20, 2020
Genre(s)Social simulation
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Animal Crossing: New Horizons[a] is a 2020 social simulation game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch; it is the fifth main entry in the Animal Crossing series. In New Horizons, the player controls a character who moves to a deserted island after purchasing a getaway package from Tom Nook, playing the game in a nonlinear fashion and developing the island as they choose. They can gather and craft items, customize the island, and develop it into a community of anthropomorphic animals.

New Horizons began its development in 2012. The game director, Aya Kyogoku, had the philosophy of retaining old content from previous games to keep fans happy while also making the game simple enough to appeal to newcomers. With art and graphics, they used the concept of "trigger of play" and the "imagination gap", where the former kept the gameplay simplistic and easy to pick up while the latter kept the art style simple for the player to imagine the rest.

New Horizons received acclaim from critics, with many praising its gameplay and customization options and calling it the best game in the series. Being nominated for over a dozen awards, the game was often a contender for Game of the Year. It was a major commercial success, selling over 34.85 million copies worldwide and breaking the console game record for most digital units sold in a single month. It is the best-selling game in the Animal Crossing series, the second best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch, the second-best-selling game of all time in Japan, and the 15th best-selling video game in history. Its commercial success has been attributed in part to its release amid global stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The game was used often for social interactions such as weddings and graduation ceremonies, alongside political campaigning and virtual protests. The game also spawned fan creations, such as a trading website, a talk show, and other comics and merchandise. It also received major updates adding new content until November 5, 2021.
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