Nintendo officially has two new installments in the Animal Crossing series lined up to release later this year in the form of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival. While both titles aren’t core installments in the ever-popular franchise, they both promise a unique approach on the series that should keep fans occupied while they wait for the next true entry.
One feature that gamers have been hoping to see in the Animal Crossing series for quite sometime, however, is the possibility of having iconic Nintendo characters like Mario move into their town in lieu of one of the hundreds of existing AC townsfolk. While that request has been a pipe dream for gamers thus far, we’ve learned that it’s something that Nintendo would be willing to consider – although it wouldn’t be an immediate priority.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with current Animal Crossing lead Aya Kyogoku (via a translator) following the reveal of amiibo Festival at E3 2015, where I brought up the possibility of the long-desired, Nintendo mascot-centric iteration of the series ever coming to fruition. To my surprise, it’s definitely something that Kyogoku and her team would consider if fan demand is strong enough.
“Obviously we don’t know what the next Animal Crossing is going to look like, but if the addition of other IPs in the next Animal Crossing is going to really excite both fans of Animal Crossing and fans of those other IPs even more then that’s something we’d really like to consider and take into account.”
Not wanting to get gamers too excited over this prospect, Kyogoku made it clear that the focus of a new entry in the Animal Crossing franchise would be on innovating rather than doing what fans expect of another core entry.
“But at the same time, we really wanted to make sure that the gameplay we put into the next Animal Crossing is fun and new. I wouldn’t want to add a feature where people thought it was about time or expected the next iteration would have. So instead of that, I’d like to have fun and good surprises in the gameplay.”
Pushing the series forward to ensure that it’s always evolving and relevant is a smart move on Nintendo’s part, as it ensures that longtime fans of the series have something new to look forward to with every iteration. Of course, it’s interesting to hear that the team is still taking into account what fans want to see whenever it comes time to get down to business with the next core Animal Crossing entry.
Given Nintendo’s newfound dedication to establishing partnerships with other companies (i.e. Donkey Kong and Bowser in Skylanders) and even sharing IP amongst internal studios (i.e. Link in Mario Kart 8), it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Mario move into your Animal Crossing town in the not too distant future.
Do you want an Animal Crossing game where famous Nintendo characters can move into your town? What innovations would you like to see in the next iteration? Get at us in the comments.