Animal Crossing: New Horizons is super successful, we get it, but did you know that Nintendo is in fact stunned by how well the game is doing?
“The initial sales of Animal Crossing: New Horizons have greatly exceeded our expectations. We were targeting the current sales numbers for the game’s lifetime considering fans have been waiting such a long time for this game, but it all happened at a much faster rate than we anticipated,” said president Shuntaro Furukawa in a conference call. The company’s most recent financial earnings report stated that the social sim game has sold almost 12 million units since its launch in late March.
Tidy. That places it ahead of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, Super Mario Party, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses already. And, these aren’t modest IPs for Nintendo, either. However, the timing of the game’s launch is key here.
March was the month when the coronavirus began to impact a high number of countries in Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North America severely and simultaneously. Lockdowns and quarantines were enacted to stop the spread of the disease, and thus, people had a lot more time but nowhere to go. Animal Crossing: New Horizons then became their distraction from the stress that surrounded them.
“I am very disheartened and saddened by the events happening across the world,” said producer Hisashi Nogami in an interview earlier this year. “Considering the timing, we hope that a lot of the Animal Crossing fans will use this as an escape, so they can enjoy themselves during this difficult time.”
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out now for the Nintendo Switch.