Animal Crossing New Horizons has become one of Nintendo Switch’s biggest ever launches.
As the gentle island simulation game goes straight to the top of the charts today – selling three times as many physical copies as last week’s other highly-anticipated release, Doom Eternal, in the process – Eurogamer reports that the game is now one of the Switch’s most successful launches, second only to Pokémon Sword and Shield. Take those games separately, however, and New Horizon takes pole position.
Early reports suggest the game has already tripled sales of its 3DS predecessor, Animal Crossing New Leaf, in just its debut weekend.
Nintendo confirmed in late February that the coronavirus had impacted the release of its upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch bundle and associated carrying case in Japan. In an update on the official website, Nintendo confirmed that as the limited edition hardware is produced in China, delays in the wake of COVID-19 were “inevitable”, forcing the company to revise its reservation date and pushing the Japanese preorder date back from February 8th to March 8th, 2020. There was no impact on bundle deliveries elsewhere in the world, however.
Animal Crossing New Horizon for Nintendo Switch was pushed back from 2019 to March 2020 in order to ensure its development team members “have good work-life balance”. Nintendo of America boss Doug Bowser said Nintendo’s “vision” and “mission” was to “bring smiles to people’s faces [and that] applies to our own employees” as much as it does its customers.
“The crunch point is an interesting one,” Bowser said at the time. “For us, one of our key tenets is that we bring smiles to people’s faces, and we talk about that all the time. It’s our vision. Or our mission, I should say. For us, that applies to our own employees. We need to make sure that our employees have good work-life balance.”