Animal Crossing is no longer the niche game it was once considered. Its latest entry, New Horizons has now beaten out both the Mario and Zelda frachises with U.S. sales figures reportedly indicating it had the third best launch for any Nintendo game ever.
As reported by market research firm The NPD Group, New Horizons‘ U.S. launch was only beaten out by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in 2018 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008.
It’s an epic achievement for the franchise, and one that cements its place as one of Nintendo’s flagship games. Importantly, this achievement tops recorded launch sales for recent Mario and Zelda hits like Breath of the Wild, Link’s Awakening and Super Mario Odyssey.
According to this sales data, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was also the best selling game in the U.S. in March, and the second best selling game of the year so far, behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
The data does, however, come with a minor caveat.
In the U.S., Animal Crossing: New Horizons released just as stores were closing due to the coronavirus epidemic. The game was available for several weeks before retailers like GameStop were forced to close in the country.
It’s likely that many people went out to purchase Animal Crossing in order to survive the pandemic, or out of fear they wouldn’t be able to purchase it at a later date.
Still, given the amount of people that are currently enjoying the game and the heightened visibility of the franchise on social media, it’s clear that Animal Crossing is having a broad and well-earned impact on the games community. In a time where global stress is rampant, a game like Animal Crossing has the potential to create a much-needed sense of calm.
Animal Crossing‘s last franchise entry came over seven years ago with New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS. Since then, the franchise has blossomed, with New Horizons becoming the best-selling title in the series. With relaxing, consistently enjoyable gameplay and the ability to virtually visit friends in the age of social distancing, it’s no wonder that sales for New Horizons are sky high.
In short: it’s the perfect game for these times.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons arrived to a world in turmoil. Countries around the globe are in lockdown. The death toll from COVID-19 rises. Thousands have lost jobs. Many others are working from home in isolation. But on Crooked Island, the world is absolute bliss.Read more