Nintendo pushed back Animal Crossing release to ensure ’employees have good work-life balance’

Nintendo’s newest instalment of Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing New Horizon for Nintendo Switch, has been pushed back from 2019 to March 2020 in order to ensure its development team members “have good work-life balance”. Talking to IGN, 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. “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.”

Consequently, Bowser insists the company won’t “bring a game to market before it’s ready”, but it was important that good work-life balance was not compromised during development.

“One of those examples is, we will not bring a game to market before it’s ready. We just talked about one example [in Animal Crossing’s delay]. It’s really important that we have that balance in our world. It’s actually something we’re proud of.”

News of Animal Crossing’s delay was confirmed by an all-new New Horizons trailer that showed off idyllic island life during Nintendo’s E3 briefing earlier this week. “Players embark on an ultra-exclusive Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package and enjoy a peaceful existence full of creativity, charm and the freedom to roll up their sleeves and make their new life whatever they want it to be,” Nintendo said via a press release.

“Players can collect resources they can craft into everything from creature comforts to handy tools as they set up a homestead they can decorate freely, both inside and out.”

Read more of our stories and analysis from E3 2019.  

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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