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Animal Crossing: New Leaf learned lessons from Let's Go To The City - Iwata

Nintendo President ponders the success of the new 3DS game

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 ]


11 comments so far...
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  1. d28m Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 14:17

    I'm really looking forward to this game!!!! Only thing is.... Why did they cut out voice chat? It's gonna be so annoying to go back to typing :(

  2. Argenthor Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 16:30

    Did the game sell 2 million or 5 million? Both are impressive numbers!

  3. King Slazo Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 16:43

    Did the game sell 2 million or 5 million? Both are impressive numbers!

    Wild World sold over 5 million in Japan, while New Leaf has thus far sold over 2 million.

    Nice to hear that they learned lessons, although I'd argue that Animal Crossing was always more suited to a handheld's pick up and play style than sitting down in front of a console, using the most awkward chat method known to man (really, WiiSpeak was just... why...).

  4. fisher2007 Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 21:12

    I'm really looking forward to this game!!!! Only thing is.... Why did they cut out voice chat? It's gonna be so annoying to go back to typing :(

    I'm not worried about voice chat because I'm shy and I'm not good at talking to strangers using voice chat also i prefer the tying also i think it be bad idea having voice chat and someone screaming and shout and playing annoying music in the background. :(

  5. STUMPWEASEL Monday 7th Jan 2013 at 23:06

    We've been looking at lots of the content on YouTube for the Japanese version of AC:New Leaf - it's such a huge improvement on the Wii game and back on a handheld console where it works so much better. I can't see quite how VoiceChat would fit into the 3DS version so am happy to go back to the keyboard.

    There's so much else to look forward to: DreamTime, town improvements (I really want a lighthouse), the new Gold/Silver/Bronze system for upgrading your shovel, fishing rod, etc. Not to mention swimming, visiting the island, all the new shops. You can customise your house, your town and you can change your eye colour not just your hair colour. And who wouldn't want to dress up as Santa and deliver presents to fellow villagers?!

    I understand that localisation takes time, had hoped we might get our hands on AC:NL before now. But all in all, I think it will be truly worth the wait. :D

  6. WOLFENFTW Tuesday 8th Jan 2013 at 13:09

    I'm really looking forward to this game!!!! Only thing is.... Why did they cut out voice chat? It's gonna be so annoying to go back to typing :(

    Voice chat would be good but text chat using the 3DS touchscreen will be far easier than using the Wii remote in Lets go to the City.

    Really looking forward to this but not my most wanted game of 2013, Layton v Wright is still up top.

  7. imbusydoctorwho Tuesday 8th Jan 2013 at 14:18

    Let's Go To The City was my first Animal Crossing game,and one of the most disappointing games I've ever played.

  8. theycallmejack Tuesday 8th Jan 2013 at 14:46

    As long as they've learned that Animal tracks was a horrible horrible idea, then I'm happy!

  9. redeye Tuesday 8th Jan 2013 at 18:18

    I played Let's Go To The City and enjoyed it, however it wasn't as good as the Game Cube game. Am still playing Wild World but really want New Leaf sooner rather than later. :twisted:

  10. WolfyWardark Tuesday 8th Jan 2013 at 18:46

    I really hope that the grass doesn't disappear when walked over in New Leaf!

  11. Amidamaru Tuesday 8th Jan 2013 at 19:10

    I really hope that the grass doesn't disappear when walked over in New Leaf!

    sorry to break it to you but it is, but on a better note it doesn't seem to be as quick depending on what type of town you chose. also it's supposed to be easier and quicker now to regrow it.

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