Thursday brought the first Nintendo Direct in a while, and it delivered a heap of juicy details about Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The YouTube chat was filled with fans geeking out about the game. And especially the return of the museum and fan-favorite character Isabelle.
All-in-all, this Direct was a PR victory for Nintendo. That was, right up until the last segment. We got confirmation that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will not support cloud saves.
And that’s not even the worst news.
We already knew the new Animal Crossing game was missing cloud support. It’s not the first major Nintendo title to feature this problem. Pokemon Sword & Shield didn’t support it, either.
To avoid customer backlash, Nintendo assured players that there is a system in place to recover data from a lost or broken console.
But there are a few glaring caveats.
Firstly, you can only use this service once per Nintendo Switch Online member.
Secondly, this service won’t be available at launch. So not only can you only recover your saves just a single time, you won’t be able to do it at all until some indefinite future date.
Nintendo seems weirdly determined to keep a stranglehold on its players.
This onetime service might be fine for adults, but Animal Crossing is a family game franchise. If you have a kid who is accident-prone, you may as well go ahead and kiss your save data goodbye.
It’s just such a baffling decision.
Why on Earth is any of this necessary?
Is it because Nintendo thinks that we’ll deviously use cloud saving to exploit the system? There are plenty of ways to prevent cloud save abuse. Methods that Nintendo could easily use if it didn’t seem so hell-bent on control.
It’s not like you’d be able to use the cloud to reverse time. There are almost certainly time checks in place to prevent you from cheating the system so brazenly.
This just makes Nintendo look like they don’t care about players. Not that it’s the first time.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will still be a ridiculously fun game. And I’ll still buy it. But while I’m playing, I doubt I’ll be able to shake from my mind the unnerving fact that Nintendo seems determined to make it a bit less fun than it should be.
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