Animal Crossing: New Horizons is exactly what we need to fight the despair and loneliness of our seemingly-endless coronavirus quarantines.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the franchise’s first new game in seven years. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. With the majority of the world locked up in self-quarantine, New Horizons’ tranquil offerings are the perfect escape from the coronavirus crisis.
It’s crazy to think that a game about living with talking animals is what’s keeping us sane. Yet despite some initial fears, game sales hit record-breaking numbers across the globe.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons secured the largest physical launch for the Nintendo Switch in the United Kingdom. Ever.
The game sold more copies than all previous Animal Crossing titles combined, according to a report from Video Games Chronicle. This doesn’t include digital sales, which are probably even higher, considering many can’t leave their homes due to coronavirus.
Animal Crossing also had the biggest Japanese opening of any Switch game in history.
Nintendo is entirely aware of the release’s timing and hoped that it would help those in quarantine. Hisashi Nogami, the producer of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, revealed to The Verge:
We’ve been planning this release for quite some time, so it’s unfortunate that this timing overlapped with what’s currently happening in the world. I am very disheartened and saddened by the events happening across the world. 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.
A look at Animal Crossing Twitter proves players are doing just that.
One freelance journalist recreated Hot Topic in their home.
Others are posing with Gulliver the seagull as he washes up onshore.
In a world full of social distancing, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is bringing the best out in people. It serves as a virtual hang-out spot for friends who can’t meet up in real life.
While the reason we’re all forced to stay inside is awful, we’re lucky Animal Crossing exists to make it all the more bearable.