Should We Expect An Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct?

Over the past weeks we've seen a number of leaks from merchandise, but Nintendo have been very quiet with revealing new information. We've seen a number of fans react to these, with responses including "they've shown everything new in the game already" to "the game is getting delayed". We decided to investigate given Nintendo's history as to whether or not we should expect a blow-out New Horizons direct.

First off we'll quell any talk of a delay, by giving a hard no. There's a tonne of marketing material already listing the March 20th release date, that is seems near impossible to delay the game any further at this point. That's not to say it can't happen, but the chances of it happening are VERY slim.

Secondly, for everyone worried there'll be nothing new in the game that hasn't been shown off, there's very likely a tonne they haven't shown off. Many of the special characters (Brewster, Digby, Lottie, Lyle, and Pelly to name a few) have yet to be seen, and it's very likely they'll play some sort of role in the game. We've only seen the game twice, at E3 2019, and then again in the September 2019 Direct, the latter being more or less a recap of what we saw at E3. There's a lot of the game that hasn't been revealed yet, and it's now a matter of when they're going to show it to us, not if.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf released in Japan on November 8th, 2012, and up until roughly a month before release, we hardly knew anything about the games. On October 2nd, Nintendo Japan announced the game would be receiving a dedicated Direct on October 5th, and it went for a whopping 47 minutes!

Looking back, the Direct doesn't seem that big, but at the time, it showed off a tonne of stuff we had no idea about. It gave us our first proper look at Main Street, including the Museum Display Rooms, Dream Suite, and the Street Pass Plaza - all of which were previously unknown. Like we said, looking back now that seems like nothing, but at the time we didn't have any idea these would be staple features of the game.

We also got a rather big in-depth look at The Island, including the Club Tortimer mini-games, which also showed us a number of new fruits that would be coming to the game. After the game released in Japan, and whilst the west was waiting for it, Nintendo released an Iwata Asks interview in April 2013 that went over the game again. It really shows Nintendo cares about Animal Crossing games, and it doesn't seem likely they're going to half-ass a game that fans have been waiting seven years for.

We also know that Nintendo are aware a lot of players didn't really feel like the Mayor in New Leaf due to Isabelle running most of the town. It seems that the move to The Island, with being the owner and what not, is their next step in the players freedom they've talked about about. Even though we've seen very little of the game so far, what we've seen shows the player with a lot more power and freedom than in previous titles.

It's nothing special for Nintendo to keep their hands close to their chest when it comes to Animal Crossing. Even with Themed Consoles, the infamous pop-tart 3DS XL was only revealed for Japan a little over a month before it came out. We remain positive that we'll get something announced for New Horizons, but whether it's a Switch console, a Switch Lite, some Joy-Cons, or a pro controller, we don't have a clue. Nintendo have said they plan to bring their handheld audience over to the Switch, and Animal Crossing fans are known to love their Themed Consoles. It only seems logical they announce one alongside to heavily boost sales.

A number of Nintendo games have received their own directs roughly a month before release, such as Fire Emblem, Splatoon, and Xenoblade. Animal Crossing is a much bigger franchise than these titles, so it's likely we'll get one soon as well. We're sure there's at least one big info dump to expect, whether that be in a General Direct, or a Dedicated Direct, it's sure to happen sooner or later. We have our money on a Dedicated Direct that'll happen anywhere from mid-February to early March.

If these types of articles interest you, be sure to follow BidoofCrossing on Twitter where we tend to post a lot of out inner thoughts, as well as Tumblr to stay up to date with the latest Animal Crossing and Nintendo news.


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