On this day two years ago, Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched worldwide on Nintendo Switch. Its release came just in time as the world fell into a pandemic due to COVID-19 and we were all confined to our homes. Surprisingly, the game was a huge success and it gave us an escape as well as allowing us to meet up with friends virtually. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons became a worldwide phenomenon with a fanbase in its millions within the first week of its launch. People who had never played an Animal Crossing game were picking it up and those without a Nintendo Switch Console were trying to seek one out. The game became more than just a casual life sim where you picked weeds, caught bugs and paid mortgages. Players were using the game to enact real-world events like weddings, graduations, and even talk shows with celebrity guests! Speaking of celebrities, the likes of Elijah Wood, Brie Larson, and even Dani Trejo (Yes! Dani “Machete” Trejo) were actively playing the game, and engaging with other players around the world.
Over the first year, ACNH received many updates in the form of events like Egg Day, Museum Day, Wedding Season, Halloween, Toy Day, New Years, and Festivale. After a year, the game recognized its first anniversary by sending all players a 1st Anniversary cake in-game to thank them for their support.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons went on to have more updates with the return of events and holidays being celebrated, Brewster and The Roost café were implemented into the game and the first and only paid expansion was introduced; Happy Home Paradise. After this DLC became available, that was basically the last of the main updates that would come to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Sure, there was also a free update that was released alongside it and so many new furniture items were added (including the totally awesome yet totally expensive castle wall pieces) but that was to be the last content to come to the game.
Well, with today being the 2nd anniversary of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I booted up the game to see if there was any recognition but there was nothing, nothing at all. There was nothing mentioned in Isabelle’s daily announcement, the neighbors didn’t speak about it once, and there wasn’t even a letter in the mailbox to say “Hey! Happy 2nd Anniversary!”
It leaves me to think that Nintendo really has moved on from Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The Global Lockdown is done with and many of us have turned away from our islands with our attention focused on other things. Our cozy island homes that were once a refuge to us in turbulent times are all but abandoned and the animal villagers that live there neglected.
I’m sure that plenty of people, like me, boot up the game every now and again just to check how our islands and villagers are doing but it will just be for a little while. Just a casual glance around to make sure nothing is out of place. Maybe pull out the odd weed or go fishing for old times’ sake but alas, with nothing new to keep us coming back, very soon we will be packing our bags and saying goodbye to all we have created and the memories we made will just be those… memories.
Do you still play Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Do you wish that Nintendo would continue to update the game with new content? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.