Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has been discussing the success of Animal Crossing: New Leaf in an interview with Nikkei. According to Iwata, the team's determination to make a superior game to Let's Go To The City was one reason why it has sold over two million copies.
While Animal Crossing: Wild World was a huge success, many felt that Wii game Let's Go To The City was too similar but Nintendo seem to have learned lessons from this and have included plenty of new features in the 3DS game.
"On the Nintendo DS, Animal Crossing received high praise and shocked the world by selling more than 5 million copies [in Japan]," said Iwata. "It become one of the representative games that people would buy for the system. The Wii version was highly anticipated and we released it into the world but it didn't go very well, right? That game is, for us, one with many points of reflection.
"At that point, the core members of the Animal Crossing team used this reflection as a spring board, saying 'Let's make the next game one that our customers can really enjoy'. I would go so far to say that I honestly felt a tenacity from the nuclear members of the development team.
"This time, there are many features inserted that make you say 'You can do this thing?' and 'It goes that far?'.
Another reason behind its success, according to Iwata, is social media as fans shared the furniture they had designed. "In addition, to add an example, the ability we added to create furniture with interesting designs and share it through various means, coupled with our customers' creativity created an amplification of sorts. It was really interesting. What really helped to spread this around was social media, and smart phones. What really sold Animal Crossing to women this time was, without question, smart phones.
"Because you can take screenshots anywhere during the game, people are uploading the shots to social media and say 'Hey, look what I did' and everyone gets excited. For example, there are plenty of people who have tried and enjoyed the game after seeing people they follow on Twitter talk about it fondly, then developing their own interest and trying it out for themselves."
Interest in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is so high, it has led to the Nintendo Direct Animal Crossing video receiving 1.6 million views on YouTube, over half of which have taken place on smart devices.
"The game became a topic on social networks, then people would say 'Watch this and you'll understand' and people go 'Well, that's cool' and bought it. It's not a 3 minute music video, and so for a 47 minute video with developers talking casually about a game to have 1.6 million views is almost impossible, like really something unusual, I think."
While over 2 million Japanese gamers are enjoying the game we'll have to wait a while yet as the Animal Crossing: New Leaf UK release date won't fall until the second quarter of 2012. It's our best 3DS game for 2013. Can you wait?!
[ Source: NeoGaf ]