According to the president of Nintendo of America Doug Bowser (why, which Bowser were you expecting), the release of Animal Crossing New Horizons was pushed back to avoid crunch. Apparently, the company policy of Nintendo is that they want to give their employees a good work-life balance. Which is apparently a novel, shocking concept for the gaming industry. Their stocks did take a bit of a dip, but they’re sticking with it. I gotta respect this move.
Nintendo always stands out from the rest of the industry in some capacity. Sometimes it’s bizarre decisions, such as Super Mario Maker 2 not letting you play with friends at launch, so as not to disrupt leader boards. Other times, it’s a stance that crunch should not be imposed on their employees, which, sadly, is the exact opposite of how the majority of the industry handles things. And this is exactly why the launch date of Animal Crossing New Horizons has been moved to late March 2020.
In an interview with IGN, the wonderfully named president of Nintendo of America Doug Bowser addressed the company’s view on crunch: “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.” He then used Animal Crossing as an example: “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.”
So, yeah; Animal Crossing New Horizons is coming out on March 20th, 2020, and now you know why. Nothing is worth people breaking their backs and minds over it. The game will, of course, be available only on the Nintendo Switch. If you haven’t already, check out the near half-hour gameplay video below, and see what the new Animal Crossing is going to have to offer. I’ve never played Animal Crossing, but it looks delightful.