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Has Nintendo cracked the next big gaming IP amid the Coronavirus pandemic?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has become the fastest-selling single title on Nintendo’s Switch to date, selling more copies in its first week of sale than the combined launch sales of all previous Animal Crossing games in the franchise.

Reports are already coming in that the title is ‘3.5 times bigger than the last game in the series, 2013’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Nintendo 3DS.’ The title was previously the biggest launch for Nintendo’s franchise.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a non-linear life simulation game played in real-time. Each player assumes the role of a customisable character who moves to a deserted island. The open world game then allows players to explore the island as it develops into a community of animals.

 

 

Not only is the game one solution to maintaining communication and world-exploration social distancing, but also carries the potential to be one of Nintendo’s next big franchises. Video games analysts already expect New Horizons to be shipping over 12 million games in the next few months, and that is not accounting for digital downloads.

Benji Sales, an independent video game analyst, wrote on Twitter:

“Animal Crossing New Leaf was the previous best-selling Animal Crossing game, hitting over 12 million sold lifetime. Whatever your optimistic sales expectations for Animal Crossing New Horizons launch sales were, I can already tell you it’s too low. Holy hell, HUGE opening incoming.”

Digital download numbers – which Nintendo does not share externally – are tipped to be vast, particularly considering the concerns around the COVID-19 virus that has seen the UK Government recommend self isolation measures across the country.

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